Seven Catholic priests walk into a bar…
No, it is not the beginning of a joke but what actually happened in a pub in Cardiff recently, only for the bar staff to mistake them for a stag do in fancy dress and refuse to serve them.
The unusual incident took place at the City Arms when Father Peter McClaren and his colleagues were out to celebrate him being ordained.
To their surprise, they were refused service when they got to the bar as the staff believed them to be a group of rowdy fellas on a stag do.
Father McClaren said: “Upon hearing this, our initial impression was that this was a joke until it became clear that this was not the case and he was in fact serious.
“After insisting to no avail that we were in fact students for the priesthood, two of us having recently been ordained deacons, we turned to leave.
“A gentleman, whom we assumed to be the manager, then approached us at the door and reassured us that he did accept who they claimed to be and subsequently invited us back in.
“By way of apology, he then very graciously provided us with a round of drinks, at which point the group decided to stay, provoking an outburst of applause from the locals casually enjoying a pint.”
Matt Morgan, assistant manager at The City Arms, said: “At first one of our staff members thought the group were a stag party in fancy dress and suggested they might want to try another pub, as we generally have a quieter crowd of drinkers than others nearby.
“When we realised our mistake we quickly apologised to the priests and thankfully they were all great sports and saw the funny side of the situation.
“We offered them a free round of drinks and they were happy to stay and continue their evening in the pub.
“Our Rev James ale is one of our most popular beers so it was great to have a real-life Reverend James and his fellow priests enjoying a pint or two!
“It’s not every day you have a group of priests drinking in the pub and they would be welcome back any time.”
Once the initial difficulties out of the way, the clerics sat down and enjoyed a few drinks in the pub and mixing with the other patrons.
A spokesman for the group said: “Throughout the afternoon, the group continued to receive a warm welcome from the regulars but their curiosity did not cease, with many approaching us and asking us questions.
“An engineer from among the customers came forward to speak with the Reverend Nicholas Williams from Cardiff, only to discover that he himself had enjoyed a career as an engineer in the aerospace industry prior to beginning his studies for the priesthood.”