This drawing from 1673 by Adriaen van Ostade presents a cheerful scene. People are making music, bowling, walking the dog, drinking, sharing a meal, having a chat. Standing in the doorway is the proprietress. She must be an industrious person for over the door are two bee skeps, higher up a dovecote, and by her feet, hens.
A pub can be a welcome place for a traveller needing a break, a relaxed place to meet friends, to share passions – darts or skittles, watch sport, book clubs – or a place to go if you are feeling alone and in need of company. It can be a place to find a phone, a toilet or to ask the way when lost. Some pubs double up as post offices, libraries and become the centre of their community. Maybe the challenge for the church is to be as open in its reach to the community as the local pub.
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24,25