A Church to reach Surfers!
TUBESTATION Church is located in the old Methodist church in Polzeath, in the county of Cornwall, England. 10 years ago the church had dwindled to about 12 people all over the age of 70. Every weekend this beautiful beach town was filled with surfers and people of all ages on holiday. The church asked their young pastor what they could do to keep the church open and he said we need to reach out to these surfers. He knew some Christian surfers and asked them to envision a church that could minister in significant ways in this unique setting.
The elderly members gave their blessing and this team of young, visionary adults took the reins and redesigned the building and ministries in very innovative ways. Today the church is celebrating 10 years of beach ministry and amazing growth. They are a 7 day a week ministry center. They have an art gallery in their basement where local artists can display their works and engage others in conversation. They rent surfing and water sport equipment to gain income for the ministry and have a first rate coffee bar and cafe in the old chapel.
The sanctuary was remodeled for contemporary worship. The wall behind the pulpit has a cross inside a wave. The old chancel area is a skateboard ramp used during the week by children. The historic Bible is on top of an antique book shelf. The shelves contain board games for the cafe patrons. Sunday worship features an excellent band and a preacher in jeans and a T-shirt. The pastor is a surfer and uses surfing metaphors in teaching the scripture text. The Worshipers come from the surrounding villages and across the UK. They are dressed in beach attire, are all ages with many are Millenials. Children are everywhere and welcomed with crayons and coloring sheets during worship.
In each of these ministries the staff and members engage the guests and seek to make connections. They look to have "holy moments" with others through shared coffee, conversations, answering questions and recapping surf stories from the day. The church name, TUBESTATION, refers to the church's mission. A tube is a perfect wave for surfing, usually around 6-8 feet. The church invites individuals from all walks of life, age and background to catch the wave of God's love and grace.
This church has been very successful in its Kingdom mission. Numerous people have met Christ, decided to follow him and experienced authentic Christian Community. Baptisms are common practice as well as testimonies shared in worship and prayers for individuals who drop in for coffee, food, to meet friends or see the artwork. It was initially funded generously by the district office and soon became self supporting. Check out their website: TUBESTATION.org for more on this creative, exciting Fresh Expression of church!