Tubestation - update Feb09

Sunday, 1 February, 2009

Rachel Matthews talks to Henry Cavender and Kris Lannen about tubestation, a fresh expression of church for surfers in Polzeath, Cornwall.

Duration: 4:50   | Download Download mp3


Introducer: If you watched the second Fresh Expressions DVD or caught Songs of Praise in January, you may have already heard of Tubestation, a thriving church based on the edge of Polzeath beach in North Cornwall, that's open for coffees, crepes and smoothies and hopes to bridge the gap between surfing and the gospel. Tubestation opened in the summer of 2007 and now has a regular worshipping congregation of 40. In the summer holidays this number increases and they often can't fit the church into the building. Rachel Matthews talked to Tubestation project directors and keen surfers, Henry Cavender and Kris Lannen, and asked them about their first memories of the place.

Henry Cavender: When we first got here we came through the door and looked around – and imagine kind of mothballs, that kind of smell of furniture polish, and lots of dark wood. We've got this incredible beach view here, but there were frosted panes of glass in the window. The first thing we did was pray and it kind of grew from there.

Kris Lannen: We were just really blessed to be given a blank canvas to make those changes, including putting a skate ramp in the church, right at the front of the church, so we put in the ramp and then whitewashed as much of the old dark wood as possible to make it feel really fresh, sanded the floor again so it's a nice wooden sanded floor. It's great because literally guys can come walking in off the beach in their wetsuits and drip on the floor and bring in sand and stuff, and that's great, that's what we want it to be like, we want it to be surfer friendly, we don't want to be precious about, you know, the carpet – oh no, they're stood on the carpet – it shouldn't be like that, it should be a place that's really inviting, people can literally come in off the beach. Really nice bar – café bar – espresso coffee machine, smoothies, a place where people can come and really kick back, chill, after a heavy session out in the Atlantic.

Interviewer: How important is prayer do you think in the running of this?

Henry Cavender: It's central. We've actually opened a prayer room right in the heart of the building, it's central to the whole thing.

Interviewer: Is your hope that the prayer room's going to be open for anybody that comes to Tubestation?

Henry Cavender: Yeah, the vision is that it's going to be a 24-7 prayer room which will accommodate people praying right round the clock. At the moment it's a place where people can drop in, that's really anyone, that's Christians, that's people who are just curious, but we want it to run alongside a lot of the slightly more materialistic things that we're doing here to connect with culture, the sort of things that bring… everyday life things that people are familiar with into the same sentence as deep spiritual roots.

I think one of the brilliant things about the ride so far is that Kris and I have been put here together and I think what's happening here has really challenged the Methodist setup, which is really healthy. But what it has mean is that Kris and I have had to rely on each other heavily to make very quick decisions about things, kind of stand back to back you know when we need to talk about spiritual issues and talk about our faith and talk about direction here and that sort of thing. Personally I come from a background which isn't church, I come from a business environment where you don't normally hang out with people and pray with them and 2 o'clock in the afternoon you know, so from a personal point of view I've come on leaps and bounds since being here and it's enabled me to progress in my spiritual walk incredibly over the last couple of years.

Kris Lannen: I think for me the thing that if I was to pick one thing out would be learning to keep it simple, because of my experience of church in the past and what I see in other forms of church is how complicated things can become. When actually Jesus said love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love each other. And that's how simple it should be and I think that we are learning more and more that if we can just keep it that simple then we're going to be successful I guess, you know, from a godly perspective.

Interviewer: Last thing, let's say somebody was listening to this and they were thinking about… you know, God had given them a vision or they were thinking through a fresh expression of church, is there anything you would say?

Henry Cavender: Go for it. Go for it big time though, don't just do a half-hearted effort. Just ask God what his vision for it is and go for the whole lot.

Introducer: Henry Cavender ending that report. And if you'd like to see recent photos of Tubestation go to news and stories on our website,

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