Tubestation - update Apr10

Thursday, 1 April, 2010

We revisit Tubestation, the church for surfers in Polzeath, Cornwall, and hear from Henry Cavender and Kris Lannen.

Duration: 4:18   | Download Download mp3


Introducer: Back in 2006, the Fresh Expressions team visited Polzeath on the north Cornish coast. We filmed in a traditional Methodist chapel and met the local Minister, who was determined to create a church for surfers. So we thought we'd make a return visit. The building is now transformed into a cybercafé, skate zone and contemporary worship area, and the Christian community has grown impressively. The locals love it.

Female voice 1: The services at the Tubestation are really good fun to go to, which is not what most people say about going to church.

Male voice 1: Although it's run by the church, it isn't just about the church, it's more about involving people and bringing people together.

Male voice 2: They've created an environment where religion was just part of the environment, which is obviously really different to a lot of traditional churches where it's very staid, especially in this area of the country, and it's quite formal.

Henry Cavender: A lot of people come to Tubestation expecting something really whizz-bang and amazing, with high expectations, and what they find is it's actually a lot more simple than that.

Introducer: Henry Cavender and Kriss Lannen lead Tubestation.

Henry Cavender: It all hinges on this concept of love your neighbour.

Kris Lannen: We had an opportunity recently to lead a Pro-surfer's funeral and led about 100 surfers in a paddle-out where you all paddle out back – out the back of the waves – and form a circle together, and then threw flowers into the centre of the circle and just cried out this professional surfer's name, and it was a very very powerful experience. And then myself and Henry then paddled away from the circle with this guy's ashes and we poured the ashes into the water. The opportunities that then came from that to speak to guys, to have hearts to hearts with guys you know, guys that normally you would only talk about surfing, you would only talk about the waves, you would only talk about the next swell that was coming, and we really feel that we're going to see a kind of knock-on from that experience. And it's great for us as Tubestation to be involved in things like that and perhaps it's something that we might be involved more in, you know. But a real honour.

Henry Cavender: Tubestation as a project, as a fresh expression, was born out of the local Methodist Circuit here, and in their wisdom they gave us essentially a blank canvas, they gave us freedom, and I think that is an essential ingredient to making it work. We could have quite easily set up a church which was totally culturally relevant and in effect diverge from the local Methodist way of doing things which is very systematic, sort of very traditional, but what we actually did, and we feel in hindsight was a really good decision, was stay in the local circuit. And the result is, three years down the line, that we actually have a very diverse indeed way of expressing our faith, and it's a united expression rather than an expression which has gone on a tangent from the local traditional church. And I think that's a really really healthy thing.

There is somewhere in this day and age, inherent in people, this need for community. And potentially there's inspiration to come together once again and do something using these little chapels which have this old heritage of God-inspired community building, and come together and do something for the greater good for our generation.

Introducer: Henry Cavender. And you can read an update to the Tubestation story on our website, just go to

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