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Heard the one about seven priests walking into a pub?

Name sake: Rev James (right) has a Rev James beer with Rev Williams

IT SOUNDS like the start of a joke: seven priests walk into a pub. But it was no laughing matter when the barman ordered them out, saying: ‘Sorry lads, stags dos are banned.’

He mistook the Roman Catholic seminarians, clad in black robes and dog collars, for a rowdy fancy-dress party. In fact, they popped into the City Arms in Cardiff to toast Father Peter McClaren, who had just been ordained at the nearby St David’s Cathedral.

One of the priests said: ‘Our initial impression was that this was a joke until it became clear that he was in fact serious.’

Forgive us Fathers: The City Arms PICS: WNS

Thankfully, the misunderstanding was quickly cleared up. Pub assistant manager Matt Morgan said: ‘We do have quite a few issues at the weekends with parties wearing fancy dress so it is our policy to turn them away.

‘I started to realise that they were quite serious — and in the end we gave them a free round of drinks.’

One priest, Reverend James, even shares a name with one of the pub’s beers. An archdiocese spokesman said: ‘We’d like to thank the City Arms for being good sports and their kind gesture to our seminarians. A number of our clergy, including the Archbishop of Cardiff, frequent your bar — so don’t turf any more out please.’