Priests thrown out of pub after being mistaken for stag do party

Manager of Wales pub thought they were a bunch of lads in fancy dress

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Credits: Wales Online

Seven Catholic priests were asked to leave a city centre bar after staff thought they were on a rowdy stag do.

The group of priests were celebrating in Cardiff after father Peter McClaren was ordained earlier that day.

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After deciding to pop into The City Arms for a few pints, they were told the venue held a no fancy dress or stag do policy, reports Wales Online.

Father McClaren said: "Upon hearing this, our initial impression was that this was a joke until it became clear that this was not the case and he was in fact serious.

"After insisting to no avail that they were in fact students for the priesthood, two of them having recently been ordained deacons, we turned to leave.

Credits: Wales Online

Peter McClaren was ordained at the Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral of St David near Queen Street earlier that day

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"A gentleman, whom they assumed to be the manager, then approached them at the door and reassured us that he did accept who they claimed to be and subsequently invited us back in.

"By way of apology, he then very graciously provided us with a round of drinks, at which point the group decided to stay, provoking an outburst of applause from the locals casually enjoying a pint."

But the soon-to-be-priests continued to draw attention in the popular pub.

Credits: Wales Online

The seven priests eventually resolved the situation before sitting down for a relaxing pint

A spokesman for the group said: "​Throughout the afternoon, the group continued to receive a warm welcome from the regulars but their curiosity did not cease, with many approaching us and asking us questions.

"An engineer from among the customers came forward to speak with the Reverend Nicholas Williams from Cardiff, only to discover that he himself had enjoyed a career as an engineer in the aerospace industry prior to beginning his studies for the priesthood."

And then, one of the bar staff realised one of the visiting priests was called Reverend James – the name of one of Brains' most popular beers.

Credits: Wales Online

The Catholic priests were celebrating the ordaining of Father Peter McClaren with a few pints at the pub

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"Even the management found it amusing that the Reverend Robert James, also a city native, was partial to the odd pint of the ale bearing his surname," the spokesman continued,

"Joining them were two other students, Elliot, a linguist and former English teacher entering his third year of formation and Dale, a history graduate due to start his training for the priesthood at the Royal English College in Spain this September.

"​All in all, the seminarians were both entertained by the whole affair and encouraged by the positive reaction of the local community prompted by the clerical collar.

"We look forward to future visits to the well-known establishment."

The Archdiocese of Cardiff added: "We'd like to thank the City Arms for being good sports through all of this and their kind gesture to our seminarians – and please note a number of our clergy, including the Archbishop of Cardiff, frequent your bar so don't turf any more out please!"

Credits: Wales Online

The City Arms apologised after realising the mistake and welcomed the group with open arms

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Matt Morgan, assistant manager at The City Arms, said: "At first one of our staff members thought the group were a stag party in fancy dress and suggested they might want to try another pub, as we generally have a quieter crowd of drinkers than others nearby.

"When we realised our mistake we quickly apologised to the priests and thankfully they were all great sports and saw the funny side of the situation.

"We offered them a free round of drinks and they were happy to stay and continue their evening in the pub.

"Our Rev James ale is one of our most popular beers so it was great to have a real-life Reverend James and his fellow priests enjoying a pint or two!

"It's not every day you have a group of priests drinking in the pub and they would be welcome back any time."

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