Here are some guidelines in forming your own, Pint, Pipe and Cross Club.
Keep it simple. The purpose of this men’s club is to facilitate the free discussion of the Catholic faith, good literature, good beer, pipes and cigars. This is to keep within the tradition of the “Inklings”, a group made famous by such members as J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, Roger Lancelyn Green, Hugo Dyson, Robert Harvard and C.S. Lewis, to name a few, who met at The Eagle and Child pub in Oxford. Inklings member, Warren Lewis, brother of C.S. Lewis wrote this about the group “Properly speaking, the Inklings was neither a club nor a literary society, though it partook of the nature of both. There were no rules, officers, agendas, or formal elections.”
With that thought in mind, that too is how a Pint, Pipe and Cross Club should be formed, informal rather than structured. No rules, officers, agendas, or formal elections. Men need to fellowship with other good Catholic men. So instead of a Bible study, the following structure is suggested:
- Pick a location, such as a pub, microbrewery, or coffee shop. Somewhere with seating and room to just hang out and talk. Preferably somewhere that allows smoking.
- Meet monthly
- Have a spiritual advisor
- Begin and end each gathering with prayer, giving thanks, asking for petitions and praying for one another.
- Have a spiritual book in progress at all times. One chapter a month. Discuss, but set no time limit on discussion. Let conversation flow freely.
- Relax and have a good time. Fellowship, but don’t necessarily limit to spiritual discussion.
The emphasis of discussion should be on good Catholic literature, writings of the saints and other spiritual writings. Non-Catholics may be permitted to be members, keeping in mind that no anti-Catholic writings should be discussed or permitted. Use this time to grow in your faith, learn a deeper understanding and develop lifelong friendships among your Catholic brothers. Sharing good times, mentoring one another and supporting each other.
Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12
Note: Though not a member of the Inklings, the Pint, Pipe and Cross Club takes its name from a quote by G.K. Chesterton “In Catholicism, the pint, the pipe and the Cross can all fit together.” As a side note, G.K. Chesterton does have a link to the Inklings, member C.S. Lewis sites the writings of G.K. Chesterton as highly influential in his own journey to re-embracing his Christian faith.
If you form a Pint, Pipe and Cross Club, please feel free to use these guidelines and send me a post where your club meets. I will post up your clubs info on this site and the Facebook page. Also, feel free to use the logo I designed. You may put it on flyers to advertise in your parish and even enlarge it and use it at your meeting place. Let us know how your group progresses, and more importantly, grow in your faith and friendships!
BTW, please keep in mind that we should always follow all the virtues, especially the virtue of temperance when participating in a Pint, Pipe and Cross Club gathering. As G. K. Chesterton wrote in Orthodoxy, “We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them.” In other words, we show our gratitude to God for wine and beer by enjoying these things, in good cheer and warm company, but not enjoying them to excess. For more information I suggest reading this fine article: The Lost Art of Catholic Drinking by Sean P. Dailey
Where’er the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s music and laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.