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Surfing vicar runs drive-in church service in Cornwall car park

A vicar with a passion for surfing has created his own drive-in church service in a car park in Newquay, Cornwall.

Rev Matt Timms of Wave House Church was inspired to set up the outdoor session in an attempt to find a way around the coronavirus ban on church services after they were deemed "non-essential" by the government.

Mr Timms told Sky News: "It started off as a crazy idea in my head."

Health and safety restrictions initially hindered his plans, but after some tweaks, Cornwall County Council said the event could go ahead.

He said his congregation were "elated to have the opportunity to be out together again after months of not being able to see people".

The service, which attracted over 50 vehicles, featured a Bible reading and prayers, followed by a screening of surfing film Unstoppable.

Mr Timms says many have spent lockdown in isolation, and so to find a way to bring people together now is "so, so important".

He is now encouraging people to write to their MPs to ask for churches to be allowed to worship together.

The reverend said: "Obviously, we're not looking to break all the social distancing rules. We're hoping that they will be relaxed soon. But what today has proved is that there has been a real need for it."

For worshippers who couldn't get a parking space, the service was also streamed live on Facebook.

Mr Timms explained: "We've had to quickly adapt, like most churches and most church leaders now we've become semi-experts in broadcasting."

He said he hopes his car-park service will now act as a catalyst to inspire other churches to come up with exciting ways to serve their community.

He said: "We need to share both the works and the words of Jesus at this time, and if we share this message of hope, then I don't have to run it all. Let's just see what happens from here".

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