A Bradford church is praying for an England win and opening its doors to World Cup fans.
Not only is Great Horton vicar the Rev John Bavington screening the Three Lions’ matches direct to the pews but he is also inviting fans to take along their own beer – as long as they drink responsibly.
Official World Cup bunting will be decking the aisles of St John’s in time for two of the England team’s first games and snacks will be provided, in return for a donation.
The first match against Italy is will be shown too late, at 11pm, next Friday to be screened in the church, but footy fans will be able to see the England v Uruguay clash on June 19 at 8pm and the game against Costa Rica at 5pm on June 24.
Mr Bavington said he hopes the church, just off Great Horton Road, is filled to its 200-seat capacity to cheer England on to victory.
“We usually use the big screen on a Sunday to show video clips, make announcements or put up song words so this is a bit of a diversion from the norm but we’re hoping it’s going to be lots of fun. The idea is to bring the community together.
“I’ve said people are welcome to bring beer or wine but would ask them to drink responsibly. The main purpose of all this is to enjoy the game. Everyone is welcome.”
Mr Bavington added: “I’m confident England will win – but I say that every time. I'm the eternal optimist.”
Although he has been working in the heart of Bradford for nine months now, he is still a Crystal Palace fan he admits.
“There’s not too many of us in Yorkshire! I love to see Bradford City win a match but I can’t say I’m a diehard fan – yet,” he added.
St John’s is also having a special Father’s Day service on Sunday, June 15, and will be serving bacon butties afterwards.
“Have a bacon butty on us dads, for all that you do!” said Mr Bavington.