Matt Timms

Rev. Matt Timms, the ‘surfing vicar’, won the right to hold England’s first drive-in church service in Newquay, during the coronavirus lockdown.

Rev. Matt Timms is Reverend of Wave House Church in Newquay. After the council initially rejected his bid for a drive-in church for the local community, Matt turned to the Christian Legal Centre for support. Together with the support of local MP Steve Double, as well as pressure from the local community, the council U-turned and granted permission for the service to take place.

Matt commented: “Worship is a very powerful thing and Jesus’ ministry was very public. Christian faith is not something that happens in private. Sharing the gospel and public worship are essential to what it means to live out your Christian faith.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said:

“It cannot be right that drive-in cinemas are allowed, shopping centres are open, but an outdoor church service that is offering real hope to a community in need is banned. The government is dictating to church leaders what church is and how it should function, which is unprecedented. It is also incredible that the government is liberalising and extending Sunday trading at the same time as restricting church services and criminalising even informal prayer meetings.

“This church in Cornwall demonstrates what is possible when social action is combined with the life-changing message of the gospel. It is time for church leaders across the UK to show the same courage and determination to reach people with the gospel despite continuing government restrictions.”

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