Surfer Vicar Overcomes Opposition to Host England’s First Ever Drive-In Church


Newquay, England (ANS) – A surfer vicar in the coastal town of Newquay in the South of England hosted the first ever drive-in church in the country after overcoming local government opposition.

Newquay Drive-in church

Health and safety restrictions initially threatened Reverend Matt Timms plans, but after support from the Christian Legal Centre and a local member of parliament , Cornwall County Council gave permission for the event to proceed on Sunday June 21.

Worship time during Drive-in church

Members of the Wave House Church were elated to have the opportunity to be out together again after months of lockdown. More than 50 vehicles arrived for the service which included worship, prayers and a Gospel message, followed by a screening of surfing film Unstoppable.

In an interview with the Global News Alliance Reverend Matt Timms of Wave House Church in Newquay, said it was remarkable to see the response to this local church event including reports from the national media including Sky News.

Rev Matt Timms


“You know, I didn’t expect any of this to happen. Literally my heart as a local church leader was just to gather the church together in a little moment to worship and pray and to preach the Gospel and bring a message of hope.  So I didn’t expect any of this mass media frenzy around it. But it seems to have captured the heart of the nation.”

Timms added that while drive-in church may not become a regular outreach his hope is that it will inspire other churches to creatively impact their communities:

“What we’ve been praying through is how do we publicly proclaim the Gospel? Will we do another event like this? Possibly.  But for me the most important thing is that this event will serve as something of a catalyst for other churches and just inspire them to think creatively about how they can reach out to their community and share both the works and the words of Jesus and to release hope and to worship together.”

You can watch this full video report produced by our partners at the Global News Alliance:

Surfer Vicar Overcome Opposition to Host England’s First Ever Drive-in Church


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Peter Wooding
Peter Wooding is Senior Editor at Assist News Service and an award-winning radio, TV, and print journalist. Peter has worked as news editor at UCB Radio in the UK, and has reported from countries around the world including Israel, India, Russia, Serbia, South Sudan, Ukraine and Mozambique. Continuing his father Dan's legacy, Peter now leads the global expansion of ANS. He is also the London Bureau Chief for the Global News Alliance, Media and PR Officer for Leading The Way UK and UK Director for Mercy Projects. Peter lives in North Wales, UK, with his wife, Sharon, and their three daughters, Sarah, Anna and Abigail.