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Celebrating priests turned away from pub after doorman’s ‘stag do’ mix-up

One of the priests shares the same name as one of the beers sold by the pub – the Rev James which is brewed by Brains.

A group of trainee priests were surprised to be turned away from a pub after a member of staff thought they were on a stag do.

The seven seminarians were initially barred from the City Arms in Cardiff on Saturday despite insisting their clothes were not fancy dress.

But they managed to get their celebratory pints on the house after the bar manager realised they were the real thing.

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Reverend Rob James with a pint of Reverend James by the Brains brewery (PA)

Father Michael Doyle said the seven went to the pub in Quay Street to celebrate the ordination of Father Peter McLaren at Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral of St David near Queen Street.

He said it was a double celebration because Fr McLaren was the second to be ordained to the priesthood in a week.

He added that the City Arms was a favourite of his colleagues including the Archbishop of Cardiff, George Stack.

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The Archbishop of Cardiff, George Stack, is a big fan of the City Arms pub (Andrew Parsons/PA)

Fr Doyle said: “They arrived at the City Arms and they were dressed wearing the clerical collar.

“The doorman basically said something along the lines of, ‘sorry gents, we have a policy of no fancy dress and no stag dos’.”

The doorman was good-natured but firm, and the students had started to leave when they were approached by the bar manager.

“He basically said, ‘you’re real, aren’t you?’,” said Fr Doyle.

“He invited them back in and when they walked back in the entire pub burst into a round of applause, and they had a free round off the City Arms.”

Fr Doyle said the group stayed in the pub most of the afternoon chatting to locals, and also discovered that one of them shares the name of one of Brains brewery’s most popular ales.

He said: “Reverent Rob James decided to buy the barman a drink and, of course, one of the Brains beers in Wales is the Reverend James, so the Reverend Robert James bought a Rev James for the barman.”

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