Thirst after Righteousness: Rector and Publican in Charity Job Swap
17th December 2018
Canon John Williams, Team Rector of Hemel Hempstead and Ben Satchfield, proprietor of the Olde Kings Arms, Hemel Hempstead, opposite St Mary’s Church, took part in a job swap on Sunday 25th November. John worked a two-hour shift at the pub, pulling pints and serving during a busy lunchtime shift, and Ben gave an address at the Sunday Eucharist at St Mary’s Church, welcomed worshippers at the door and delivered the notices.
Ben’s address highlighted the role of both pubs and churches in building and nurturing communities, tackling social isolation, providing advice and support in times of crisis, community outreach and charity fundraising.
Both John and Ben arrived at their respective jobs in Hemel Hempstead early in 2017. Ben said “Before I had even picked up the keys to the pub I had contacted John and we met to discuss the merits of working together. This job swap was put in place to show the community that we can work together and help each other, and to encourage my people to visit the church and for John’s people to visit the pub.
In my previous job in the Police I worked with a village community and forged great links with them. These relationships made my job so rewarding and I want to continue that here. Close relationships with business and community groups often thrive in rural areas but there is nothing preventing us having that sense of community here too”.
Before he was ordained, John Williams was also a Police Officer, as well as having spent time in business.
The job swap raised £200 for charity, which has been split between BBC Children in Need and the St Mary’s Church fund for a new toilet.
This story was featured in E-News, the fortnightly e-mail news bulletin from the Diocese of St Albans
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