Norfolk

Norwich Mitre Pub resurrected by St Thomas' Church

The Mitre Pub Image copyright Jason Baldry
Image caption The Mitre Pub is a well-known landmark in Norwich, near a major route into the city centre

A run-down city centre pub has been restored to its former use by a church in what is thought to be a UK first.

The Mitre Pub in Norwich, first licensed 150 years ago, was put up for sale 18 months ago after a brief period as a Chinese restaurant and takeaway.

The neighbouring St Thomas Church has spent about £600,000 restoring the building to become a public house once more.

It will sell craft beers and will also serve as a coffee shop and bistro.

Image copyright Google
Image caption St Thomas Church has multiple sites across Norwich

Church workers also plan to use it as a base for their work to prevent human trafficking and funds raised by the pub will go towards these projects.

The vicar Ian Dyble said: "We are so pleased that through the generosity of many we were able to raise the finance to acquire this building and return it to its original purpose of serving and being an asset to the community.

"As we renovated the building we were surprised to find the upper rooms had been insulated from light and sound and whilst we cannot be sure what they were used for, it is rewarding to let the light in and transform these into a presence for good in the area."

St Thomas', which has been unable to find any similar project ever done by a UK church, said The Mitre was "no longer a public house but a public home".

The restoration money was raised through gifts from the congregation, charitable organisations and loans and it is expected to open next week.

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