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Policy on Consumption of Alcohol

Church Governance, Social comment

In the Parish Context of St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral…

In light of the biblical teaching that everything God created is good, that drunkenness is always to be avoided, that civil rulers and church leaders must take special care in any consumption of alcohol, and that Christians should avoid causing others to stumble by what they drink, the Parish Council adopts the following policy…

  1. At services of public worship, wine is served only as part of the Lord’s Supper, with non-alcoholic juice always offered as an alternative, whether the service is on church trust property or elsewhere.
  2. At all other advertised or public ministry events [such as evangelistic meetings, public lectures or courses, and social events], there should be no alcohol available, whether on church trust property or elsewhere. The only exception would be on properly licensed premises, with a good reputation for the responsible service of alcohol and only with the approval of Parish Council. except in the following cases:
    • On properly licensed premises, with a good reputation for the responsible service of alcohol and only with the approval of Parish Council, or
    • Where the type of event is:
      • managed by an appropriate ministry team that is part of the Parish and at least one person holds a current RSA certification who does not consume alcohol (number of such persons being appropriate to the number of people present), and
      • approved by Parish Council and held on private premises, and
      • involving BYO alcohol only.
  1. There should be no alcohol available at official ‘invitation only’ church events [such as Bible study groups, parish council meetings, or other groups’ activities] on church trust property or other public venues, except on properly licensed premises.
  2. There should be no alcohol available at private activities organised by members of the church [such as wedding receptions, birthday parties] on church trust property (other than private dwellings such as the rectory).
  3. At private activities organised by a member of the ministry staff in a residence, whether it be church trust property or not, the member of the ministry staff shall be free to serve alcohol in a responsible manner.
  4. Where an activity is undertaken on church trust property pursuant to a commercial lease signed by the Property Trust, such as for a restaurant, the terms of the lease must specify that alcohol may only be served by a reputable, professional and competent licence holder (not the parish) operating in accordance with applicable licensing laws.

Revised and approved by Parish Council on 11/11/2010.

Revised again and approved by Parish Council in February 2016. Policy above marked up to show changes from this meeting.


Background Reading


As important background reading, please click here for a PDF of the 2009 Report to Synod on the Consumption of Alcohol which formed the background to the development of this policy in the first place.

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