Washington, Jan 5 (ANI): Alcohol awareness groups have slammed a Scottish church for selling its own fundraising beer.
St Matthew's Church in Perth struck a deal with Inveralmond Brewery to market St Matthew's Ale and raise cash for spire repairs.
The beer has been sold in Perth's Capital Asset pub, including during the Watchnight service on Christmas Eve - with the church cashing in on every keg sold.
However, opponents claim the drive is 'irresponsible and ill-conceived', and they suggested that the church reconsider.
St Matthew's Church has also been criticised by senior members of the congregation, who pointed out that another Perth church organises "street pastors" to help drunks every weekend.
St Matthew's minister the Rev Scott Burton defended the move.
"The idea is based on something I saw in the Nineties. I was in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and saw a sign for St Giles's Ale, which the cathedral was selling to make money for their repairs," the Scotsman quoted him as saying.
"We are not promoting alcohol consumption per se; we are promoting responsible drinking. The Capital Asset is very much into Drink Aware.
"The Church has never been against alcohol, but we are against alcohol abuse," he added.
However, Jack Law, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said: "It is an ill-conceived idea for a church to use alcohol as a fundraising measure. would encourage this church to reconsider how it goes about raising its funds." (ANI)