After years of teetotalism, Britain’s Methodist church is hitting the pubs.
The church, which does not even allow wine at communion services, has had 250,000 drink mats printed for distribution in watering holes across Britain.
Designed to appeal to young drinkers, they carry slogans such as “stop war”, “reduce emissions”, “eat more doughnuts” and “never give out your password” to promote a church competition to think up an 11th commandment.
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Drinkers under 40 will be able to phone or text in their suggestions and the best five will each win a mobile phone with a camera.
“We hope people will want to collect the drinks mats and postcards, discuss them with friends, and use the quick and popular medium of text messaging to tell us their ideas,” church spokesman the Reverend Jonathan Kerry said today.
“This isn’t about ‘bums on pews’ – there’ll be no pressure to get further involved.”
Earlier this month, the church distributed 500,000 postcards in cinemas, colleges, student unions, cafes and bars giving notice of the competition.
The campaign is being run with the Christian satirical website, www.shipoffools.com
Simon Jenkins, editor of shipoffools.com, said the competition was designed “to take the 10 commandments out of boring buildings and put them on the street, where they belong”.
Later in the year, the organisers hope to publish a book containing the best competition entries.