A new mission has been launched to turn a traditional working men's club into Bradford's first Christian pub.

Supporters have put in a bid to buy the Bradford City Band Club, in New Otley Road, Bradford.

A company has been formed entitled the Bradford City Pub Consortium to compete alongside four other bidders for the building which is on the market for £125,000.

And people are being invited to buy shares in the venture which would create a bridge between believers and non-Christians as well as providing a "really good local" with a fully-stocked bar.

Bradford Diocese's evangelism advisor the Reverend Robin Gamble, said: "Christianity is about people not buildings and this is where we will encounter people. Jesus was forever meeting people in their own environment and was criticised for it.

"We are appealing to people who think this is a really good idea to get behind it and make it work.

"We believe God wants it to happen and we sense the local community wants it to happen."

The results of the bid should be known in early September.

But Mr Gamble added: "If we don't get this one they will have the opportunity to get their money back or leave it for the next one that comes up."

A leaflet explaining the mission says: "But what about Christians and alcohol? There are clearly many doubts about the whole idea of Christians getting involved in this area. We ourselves have agonised long and hard over some of these things and over the potential things that could go wrong.

"Despite these reservations however, after much prayer, we feel called to be where the needy people really are."

Supporters, who include a former landlord, other business people and churchgoers, aim to run "a really good local"

Alongside the usual pub pursuits like dominoes, pool and darts, there will be employees trained to listen to problems, discuss Christian issues and pray with customers.

The building, which was originally intended for the Bradford City Brass Band, also boasts a hall large enough for Christian events.

Anyone who wants to donate or become a share-holder in the firm is asked to telephone Mr Gamble on (01274) 586414.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.