Drinkers are being urged to “Raise a Glass” to the transformation of Holy Trinity as the church hosts the Hull Real Ale and Cider Festival.
The magnificent 700-year-old church in the heart of Hull’s Old Town is the venue for the annual beer festival on April 16-18 when real ale fans will be encouraged to donate the price of a drink to a £4.5m regeneration fund.
Drinkers will purchase tokens worth £1.50 each to spend on their choice from a vast array of cask ales, ciders and bottled beers. This year they will be urged to donate just one of the tokens to the fund-raising campaign to create an amazing and sustainable future for Holy Trinity, England’s largest parish church and Hull’s finest Grade 1 listed building.
The “Raise a Glass” campaign will also involve people being urged to take pictures and “selfies” of themselves and friends toasting the plans for the future of Holy Trinity and to post them on social media, using the hashtag #raiseaglass.
In addition, real ale fans will be asked to sign a Pledge of Support for changes that will enable Holy Trinity to replace outdated and inadequate facilities; enhance its extraordinary heritage; become much more accessible to the community; and host a huge range of cultural and social events.
Holy Trinity’s plans will secure the long-term future of the real ale festival at the church and enable a major expansion of one of Hull’s most popular events.
Holy Trinity Pioneer Minister the Reverend Matt Woodcock said: “We host a wide range of events within the church, but the real ale festival brings more people through the doors than any other, so it’s a great opportunity to promote our exciting plans for the transformation of Holy Trinity and keep the appeal fund moving forward.
“Effectively, we’re asking people attending the festival to donate a drink to the fund - to Raise a Glass to our plans, which will enable Holy Trinity to host so many more community and cultural events.
“The social media element of the campaign is a fun way to raise awareness of Holy Trinity and its future, as well as promoting the real ale festival, and people will also have the opportunity to pledge their support more formally.”
· The festival is run by the Hull and East Yorkshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Rev Woodcock added: “We’re thrilled that our good friends at CAMRA are supporting this promotional and fund-raising drive and we’re really looking forward to hosting once more one of the highlights of the city’s social calendar.”
CAMRA branch Chairman and festival organiser Stewart Campbell said: “This is the fourth year that the festival has been at Holy Trinity and we’ve already agreed dates for 2016 and 2017.
“It’s a wonderful building and a fantastic venue for the festival. We’re right behind the Raise A Glass campaign and we’re encouraging everybody to donate a beer token to the fund to help to ensure that, in future, the real ale festival can be even bigger and better.”
The first pint at this year’s festival will be pulled by the Venerable Andy Broom, Archdeacon of the East Riding, who is a CAMRA member and the son of a publican.He said: “As a CAMRA member I’m really looking forward to the festival and very proud to open the event.
“I’m thrilled to see the church hosting events such as this and pleased that so many people from the wider community will be able to come and enjoy the beer festival in such an amazing setting. I’m also pleased that visitors to the festival will be able to find out more about the plans for the future of Holy Trinity.”
The planned changes at Holy Trinity include the creation of an open, flexible space within the church for Christian worship, as well as effectively creating an iconic new venue for banquets, concerts and cultural events. The addition of a stylish and high-quality café will help to draw more local people and visitors to Holy Trinity and the Old Town.
The churchyard and Trinity Square will also become a seamless, piazza-style public space as the centrepiece of regeneration of the Old Town in readiness for Hull’s year as UK City of Culture in 2017.
Crucially, the changes will create new income streams to secure a long-term sustainable future for Holy Trinity as a vibrant and welcoming place of worship and community use.
The real ale festival is expected to attract up to 3,000 drinkers over three days. It is open from 12 noon to 11pm on Thursday, April 16, and Friday, April 17, and from 12 noon to 8pm on Saturday, April 18