Christians fight to halt bar licence in Hitchin

CHRISTIANS are fighting a bar licence application which they say will ruin worship, funerals and concerts at Hertfordshire s largest church. Parishioners of St Mary s, Hitchin are opposing an application for an alcohol and live music licence at the forme

CHRISTIANS are fighting a bar licence application which they say will ruin worship, funerals and concerts at Hertfordshire's largest church.

Parishioners of St Mary's, Hitchin are opposing an application for an alcohol and live music licence at the former Icons bar on Churchyard Walk, Hitchin, adjacent to the church.

The application for a new champagne and cocktail bar, made by Stevenage and Biggleswade business partners, Sarah Bethel and Tracey Munson, was heard by a North Herts District Council licensing committee this morning (Thursday) after The Comet went to press.

Paul Brenham, chairman of St Mary's Church Preservation Trust, said: "Granting such a licence would considerably disrupt most of the services, especially Sunday services, choir practices, and concerts that are held throughout the year.


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"It is hard to imagine how upsetting it would be, adding to the distress of those attending a funeral service, by the sound of loud music and associated noise.

"When a bar was licensed there in the past it was impossible to focus on our worship at Evensong."

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Colin Eades, a trustee of the church, said: "I am horrified at the potential conflict between the premises and the church users. I suggest the applicants are persuaded to seek a more appropriate venue and location."

If the application was successful, the bar would be able to open from 10am each day of the week until midnight on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, 1am on Thursday and 2am on Friday and Saturday.

To find out the result, log on to www.thecomet24.co.uk

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