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Cornwall: Christian-run skatepark reaches out to Launceston youth

The vision of two youth workers in 2008 for a skate park has developed into a widely used centre for skaters, roller bladers, BMX bikers and more ...

It is 7,500 sq feet of skaters’ heaven – a much-needed facility in the area. The UNIT skate park in Launceston, Cornwall, welcomes skaters, BMX bikers, scooters, roller bladers as well as parents and spectators, reports Hope Together.

The project, opened in 2010, has developed into a thriving enterprise from the vision of two local youth-workers in 2008. 

Now, complete with wifi, TV, refreshments, a pro shop and a parents’ area, the UNIT is attracting youth from the area in droves. The park serves the community but also provides opportunities to explore what being a Christian is really about.

Each Tuesday night the park opens for a Christian skaters’ night, which begins with a 20-minute Bible study followed by a night of free skating.

Sam Beazley, one of the founders and a youth worker for the Launceston Methodist Circuit, said: “It was a step of faith for the churches in the area, but now we are regularly seeing 60-100 young people plus parents on a Tuesday; the majority are not church-goers. There is an awesome atmosphere and we have been amazed by how many young people are making a first-time commitment to follow Jesus  enough to start running Sunday Sessions, which is church for skaters once a month on a Sunday morning. We are also here to serve and love the community.”

Sam Beazley and fellow youth worker Tim Aldridge, have seen the idea through from its inception in 2008. They converted a Transport Depot and it now has cross denominational links and have a full time Skate Pastor and Christian volunteers helping run it.

Ideas for future expansion of the work include running weekend Christian skate camps and offering the park during the day to local schools to help meet their curriculum goals.

Churches are encouraged to contact them for support in your area for skate ministry, as this year the Unit Skatepark Team look to head up Christian Skaters UK.

www.skatetheunit.com

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