Pub named after founder of first Sunday school says no to Bible Day

Robert Raikes

When a group of Christians in Gloucester decided to their Bible event, they looked no further than the pub that today fills Robert Raikes's former house. 

Raikes was born in Gloucester in 1736 and initiated the Sunday school movement in 1780 as a way of preventing boys from impoverished backgrounds falling into a life of crime and poverty.  Girls were later invited to attend and more sprung up around the country, acting as an invaluable source of education at a time when the state school system had not yet come into place. 

By 1831, around 1.25 million children were being taught each week in Sunday schools across Britain.  

But a dispute has arisen after the landlord of Robert Raikes House told the group to find an alternative venue for their Bible Day. 

Spokesperson for the group, Roland Parsons, told the Daily Mail it was because the pub "wanted to please everybody and not have the word Bible associated with the establishment". 

"We find this quite ironic because of the work Robert Raikes did for Christianity and education," he said.  

The manager of the Gloucester pub, Phil Tandy, says the issue was about the numbers of people who would be attending and being associated with the Bible Day, rather than the Bible itself. 

"I've got absolutely no problem at all with the word Bible but we were not consulted about being associated with Bible Day.  Then I see flyers across town associating us with the event without being told," he told the Daily Mail.

"The group also couldn't guarantee how many people would be attending the meal.  If they had 100 people coming that would disrupt the pub for the public. 

"I know Robert Raikes was a famous religious figure in Gloucester, but personally I'm not sure a pub should be associated with religious activities."