Drinking and going to church do not normally go hand in hand.
But when Heathcote's local pub, the Valley Inn, was demolished after the September earthquake, the Church of St Mary's hall later became a BYO pub on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The idea came from St Mary's vicar Mary Giles and gained traction through the help of Jeanie and Malcolm Rickerby.
Mrs Rickerby, who often helps run the pub, said the idea came about because Ms Giles felt that a place was needed for people to get together and talk over their problems after the quake.
"We're not without soul," Mrs Rickerby said of the unlikely combination of drinking in the church grounds.
"We have to have a place to go and talk over issues.
"It's really important that people have a safe place to gather."
Mrs Rickerby said people brought along their own drinks and food to share.
Local musicians were also turning up and putting on an act, she said.
"It's just been amazing.
"It's not like a pub crowd because people come with their families," Mrs Rickerby said.
Entertainment had also been set up to accommodate for children.
Mrs Rickerby said the pub, which had been running for two months, had taken off with numbers ranging from 20 to 140 people with the exception of drinks after the dawn service on Anzac Day in which about 200 people turned up.
Even those displaced by the quake in the area were returning to have a drink and catch up, she said.
Mrs Rickerby said the hall was also in high demand as a venue with a number of Christchurch venues badly damaged. "It's chocka. I can't accept any more bookings except one-offs like a 21st or anniversary."