Vicar Vows To Return To Bar

A vicar stopped from going in to a wine bar on Easter Sunday because he was wearing his trademark sandals hopes to return because they "do great mojitos''.

The Rev Andrew Dotchin said he had been to a beer festival to celebrate ``that Christ had risen'' after conducting six church services when he was turned away from The Wine Bar in Ipswich town centre for health and safety reasons.

Despite assuring the doorman to ``trust me, I'm a vicar'', the 59-year-old real ale fan was forced to change his plan and go to Vodka Revolution to finish his night.

The father of three says he only ever wears sandals, joking that socks never appear in paintings of heaven.

He said: ``It was Easter Sunday and I had done six church services and I had finished Lent - I only have one pint a day during Lent.

``I thought 'Christ has risen, let's have a pint'.

``So I went to a beer festival with my brother and some friends and had three or four pints and we decided to go to the wine bar for a last drink.

``The man on the door said no flip flops in here and I said 'You've got to be kidding? Trust me, I'm a vicar'.

``But I'd love to go back, they do great mojitos.''

The doorman told the Rev Dotchin that drinkers were not allowed in wearing sandals on busy nights after a recent incident when a man cut his foot on glass.

The Rev Dotchin added: ``I'm infamous round here, I only wear sandals, all year round.

``Socks are an instrument of the devil. There are no pictures of people wearing socks in heaven.''

The son of a Royal Navy submariner, he added on a more serious note: ``I went to boarding school where we could only change our socks on Mondays and Thursdays, we all nearly had foot rot. So ever since then I've said no to socks

``But there is a religious aspect too. I live with the simple things and when my feet get cold it helps me to remember those who can't afford socks and shoes.''

The vicar of Whitton, St Mary and St Botolph Parish said he has close relationship with his parish, who he is able to ``laugh and cry with''.

A spokesman for The Wine Bar said: ``We don't have a problem with sandals but it was a busy night and it wasn't worth the risk after the incident that happened recently.

``We would welcome him back on a night which isn't so busy.''

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