Posts Tagged 'cornwall'

Be Thou My Vision

“Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light”.

From “Be Thou My Vision” sung in churches throughout the world regularly. 


I wrote about our first trip to Polzeath in North Cornwall in my previous post and how a place called the Tubestation began to catch our imagination.  Whilst we never actually ventured inside due to building works at the time, we began to find out about the project on-line and via a television programme I posted about last year here.

In their own words here is part of their story:

How it all began…

Polzeath, “The thumping heart of cool Cornwall” (The Times)

The story begins in 2002 in the beachside chapel the Tubestation now calls home.  With ever decreasing use, the building faced the fate of many of the UK’s small chapels: closure and inevitable commercial sale.  But then on Christmas Day 2002 a vision was born, one which continues to unfold today. The vision starts with the rescue of this incredible site and the compulsion to give it anew to the coastal community it once served.

Late in 2006, two surfers were taken on to begin the work making plans, raising interest in the vision and raising funds to support it.  Tubestation opened in the summer of 2007, playing non-stop movies on three screens, with facilities for live music and DJ’s, skateboarding, art and display space, Wi-fi internet with laptops, games, coffee lounge and loads more!

Tubestation is a faith-based non-profit voluntary organisation situated in a refurbished chapel crammed full of great stuff and overlooking the famous Polzeath beach!

As well as the uses listed above, there is space to host a limited number of special events through the year.  With multimedia capabilities, Tubestation is a good space for meetings, presentations, parties, and it also has a marriage licence, making for a spectacular wedding location.  Brilliantly, the building is still used as a church.

Tubestation’s vision is about living life to the full, which includes much more than  just what happens on site.  We seek creative ways to use the fantastic resources and the links we have on both a local and a global level, to benefit people.

So future development of the site will aim to provide facilities for a range of arts and music, plus conference capabilities: and off site the project aims to encourage underprivileged people to access extreme sports; meanwhile our overseas links through charity partners World Vision and Christian Surfers are beginning to look into developing surf amenities to benefit third world coastal communities.

Tubestation runs on a “love your neighbour” attitude.  Its staff will never seek to force their faith on other people, but rather simply try to use their lives as living examples of the relevance of the gospel today…

As a family we have just returned from 10 days in Cornwall.  We hung out at the Tubestation a fair bit and are completely inspired by what we experienced. 

Below is a flavour of the set-up from iPlayer.

Great as the clip is, I almost expected a “cool factor” or barrier to exist and was pleasantly encouraged that I found an authenticity and welcoming comunity of all ages gathered there.  There’s something uplifting about singing “Blessed be Your name, when the sun’s shining down on me, when the world’s all as it should be. Blessed be Your name” when you’re in a place which is so obvioulsy Jesus centred and full of love and when you’re gazing out the windows across blue skies, sandy beaches and know the Atlantic ocean is just around the corner…

Thanks guys and thanks be to God!





From “Holiday” by Madonna.


We’re counting how many sleeps till our second pilgrimage to Cornwall within the space of nine months.

The above photo bears some resemblance to what our family portrait might look like if we overindulge in clotted cream scones, Cornish pasties and Sharp’s Doom Bar.  Thank goodness for high metabolism and the knowledge that a wetsuit isn’t too flattering.  All things in moderation.

Here’s to sunny day-trips and surf being up.

Also looking forward to going to church here:-



img_3369_1 “And I’d join the movement
If there was one I could believe in
Yeah I’d break bread and wine
If there was a church I could receive in
‘Cause I need it now”

From “Acrobat” by U2

Undoubtedly one of the highlights for me from 2008 was spending 10 days with friends we consider family holidaying in Cornwall.    Day-tripping to St Ives, Padzow and The Eden Project.  Eating at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen and Rick Stein’s Fish and Chip shop restaurants felt like things we ought to do.  Chilling out over the Guardian crossword and drinking red wine in the evenings whilst looking out over green fields and wind turbines simply felt perfect.

The thrill for me, of course, was stripping off and getting into my wetsuit at every available opportunity.  I did more surfing in one week than I did the rest of the year.  Polzeath, became the spot I surfed most consistantly for the week.  It had a really great feel to it with folks of all ages out in the water.  In fact, one of the most beautiful things I saw last year was a woman of about my age dressed in a wetsuit pushing her baby in a buggy on the beach only to then take a towel out and dry the face of her mother who emerged from the water from a body boarding party.  The grandmother, invigorated from her session, then took over babysitting duties whilst her daughter could wash the tiredness of motherhood off in the saltwater.  There was something intimate in those few seconds I observed of a strangers’ family and genealogy.

The other great thing about Polzeath was the presence of the Tube Station.  You can even see a couple of minutes about it on the attached BBc i Player link.  Fast forward the first 22 mins (unless Cornish tin mining and choral music is your thing…)  Inspired and relevant and, encouragingly, something that all generations of a faith community have determined to do and be.  So sweet to see unity in action and I can vouch for what they are doing.

Surf”s up!

East Of Eden

“He said “some men born rich, some men born poor
But they’re rich in other ways”
Into my heart his wisdom poured”

from “East Of Eden” by Babyshambles.

Art often speaks into our lives in profound ways.  We are sensual beings and I love those rare moments where I stop and just appreciate creativity and what an object is trying to portray or how I interpret it.

We spent a glorious day at the Eden Project in Cornwall a couple of weeks ago.  I loved the whole concept.  It was established on a former quarry which had been drained of its mineral resources.  Rather than leaving a scar on the landscape, Eden now represents the largest plant enclosure in the world.  It has been pain-stakingly designed and constructed wherein seeds, that were apparently dead, were planted exactly where they should be in order that they would grow together to form something beautiful.  After being buried in the ground, they formed roots, drank deeply, grew stronger and blossomed into new life.  They were sometimes scattered, often pruned, sometimes up-rooted and re-planted, lovingly tended and generously cared for.  The dome-like bio-spheres hosted such an amazing array of species from the plant kingdom.  It was beautiful and made my mind wander back to the imagery of another Eden. 

One of the things that stuck in my mind was a sculpture called “Seed”.  I guess the idea was sown, germinated and lovingly nurtured to find it’s role as a monument of sorts.  The explanation of the piece of art is below.

I want to grow physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I want my life to be a testament in perpetuity to something bigger than me. 


The Message helpfully paraphrases John 12: 24-25 as follows, “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat.   But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over.  In the same way, anyone who holds on to life, just as it is, destroys that life.  But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”

In a day and age where we see religious extremism on a global scale, I just see something worth living for – a design for life and life in all its fullness – not a cause for violence or suicide bombings. 

RSS What I’m Listening To

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
Blog for Amnesty - Protect the Human