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Hanley Castle Beer and Ethics Lent series now in 10th year

Published: 6th March 2024

Sue Adeney portraitThe parish of Hanley Castle run a very successful Beer and Ethics Lent series, led by Sue Adeney (pictured), which is now in its tenth year. The principal is that people from the community that have interesting jobs, interests or circumstances are interviewed about their work but from an ethical point of view. It is a great way for everyone to get involved, become known within the community, and discuss interesting and challenging issues. Sue is on hand to ensure the Christian point of view is also represented.

Traditionally Lent is time for reflection and thought, so it is a good time of year for a discussion series like this. Each discussion opens with a Question & Answer session with Sue asking each key speaker what’s challenging in their work and how they make or have made their decisions as to the best way forward. It is then opened up to the floor for further questions and discussion.

Sue finds the audience to be 50/50 or even 60/40 church goers and others. She said:

"For these talks, Lechmere Chapel at St Mary’s is set up with tables to make it look like a lounge bar and everyone gets their pint of beer or glass of wine as well and that makes a big difference to the atmosphere. It makes it all very relaxed, friendly, and informal.”

Sue adds: “A big part of the aim of doing this was draw people in from the local community and help break down any perceived barriers. It has proved to be a good model.”

In this series the first talk was on Monday 26th February. It was from Canon Jane Fraser and entitled ‘Sex Education with Daisy and Desmond’. Daisy and Desmond are anatomically correct dolls used in sex education for young people with learning disabilities to ensure they are safe and are making informed choices. Challenges can occur when parents do not want their child exposed to issues of sexuality and relationships but Jane pointed out “ignorance does not make for bliss” in this context.

Sue said:

“It was a great talk to launch this series, hopefully dispelling the idea that the church just doesn’t talk about it.”

There was also a talk from David Johnson: Technical Director of The Rivers Trust on Monday 4th March 2024 – entitled ‘River protection and recovery’.

The others to follow are:

Monday 11th March – Paul Badger: Independent Buyer of Livestock for Meat –  ‘It’s A Buyer’s Market?’

Monday 18th March – Chloe Source: Chartered Surveyor for HSBC – ‘Career And/ Or Family’

Sue said:

Each speaker comes for a meal with me first so I can find out what best to ask them. There’s no preparation on their part because it is just questions and answers. People are happy to be involved, it shows we value what they do and acknowledges that they have serious and challenging roles in society.”

“We’ve received great feedback. Lots of people say they enjoy it and find it interesting. I’ve even had people asking who we’re going to have next year too!”

Page last updated: Wednesday 6th March 2024 3:17 PM

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