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A pint and some prayer please

At the Flying Ferret pub in Huddersfield, Christian landlords Chris and Caroline Barrow regularly take requests for prayer along with the drink orders. Sharon Barnard reports ...

At the Flying Ferret pub in Huddersfield, Christian landlords Chris and Caroline Barrow regularly take requests for prayer along with the drink orders. SHARON BARNARD reports

Most people want to forget their troubles when they drop in for a drink at their local, but at the Flying Ferret in the West Yorkshire village of Shelley, customers can’t wait to share them.

Landlords Chris and Caroline, who are committed members of the Elim Pentecostal Church in nearby Honley, say they are happy to pray for customers if they ask them to.

And over the five years they have been running the pub they have received many requests for prayer – for sick friends and relatives as well as family crises – and received some amazing answers.

“As a landlady you get to hear of people’s misfortunes and of course as Christians we would offer to pray for them,” says Caroline. “Most would just smile politely, but then people started to ask if we would.

“First it was a customer whose daughter’s friend had a double brain aneurism and had been told that there was very little chance of surviving the operations. I prayed with him and to the doctors’ amazement she came through the two operations and was soon back to full health.

“Then a customer whose daughters could not conceive asked us to pray for them. Today they both have beautiful healthy babies.”

As the news spread, more people started coming to the pub with their prayer requests. The couple have now put up a picture board featuring those who have had their prayers answered (with their permission) so that other customers can see for themselves what God has done.

“The one that sticks with me the most is the night when one of our staff came to us very distressed. She asked us to pray for her friend’s little boy who had fallen from a speeding coach and was critically ill in hospital.

“Chris and I prayed for him on the spot and also encouraged all our friends at church to do the same. Despite having part of his leg removed the boy did recover.

“His parents were told they would have to have their house modified and that the physical and emotional therapy would take a long long time, but less than a year later this little boy is back at school.

“We are just an ordinary couple who believe in the power of prayer. We do not force our beliefs on others, but more and more people are coming into our pub asking for prayer and seeing their prayers answered. It is truly astounding.”

The Barrows, who are also behind the charity the White Rose Initiative which helps the disadvantaged in Romania, were keen to dedicate their business to God right from the outset.

The night before the pub opened, their pastor, Ian Sharp along with a number of church members, prayed with them. The church still supports their ministry by praying for their customers’ needs at its Sunday services.

Says Ian: “The church has supported Alpha groups and Christianity Explored courses over the years and is currently working with Chris and Caroline as they host ‘Ale Talk’, a round table discussion group which addresses spiritual topics.

“Chris and Caroline’s passion to share the Gospel and pray for their customers’ needs stems from the reality of seeing God move in miraculous power in their own lives.

“Their pub is quickly becoming known as the place to go in the village if you need prayer. Their no-frills, down-to-earth approach has won the hearts and minds of the most stubborn atheists, but most of all the answers to their prayers have brought glory to God.”

Top: Chris and Caroline Barrow; Above: With local supporters and photos of those they help in Romania (Photo: Trinity Mirror Press)

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