SURF'S UP: Reverend Jennifer Lynn and the Uniting Church staff are starting a surf service, and everyone's invited.
SURF'S UP: Reverend Jennifer Lynn and the Uniting Church staff are starting a surf service, and everyone's invited. TAHLIA STEHBENS

Beach church: Jenny the surfing reverend

SHE might not be able to walk on water, but Reverend Jennifer Lynn is doing the next best thing.

The surfing reverend has had a passion for the water since she can first remember but only picked up a surfboard about 18 months ago.

"My brother was visiting for a holiday and we just dragged out these two old foam boards from the shed," she said.

"We were out here at Nielson Park Beach in knee deep water having a go, and we just got addicted.

 

SURF'S UP: Reverend Jennifer Lynn and the Uniting Church staff are starting a surf service, and everyone's invited.
SURF'S UP: Reverend Jennifer Lynn and the Uniting Church staff are starting a surf service, and everyone's invited. TAHLIA STEHBENS

"I'm still learning, but I think a lot of it is just getting confidence in the water."

Reverend Jenny, as she is commonly known, realised her connection to God was amplified while out on the water, which stemmed her passion for a unique new service.

"We all have that happy place and for me it's always been the beach," she said.

"This idea began by me sitting out there in the ocean and talking to God. Just looking around and thinking how beautiful my surroundings were, and for me God's in everything and everyone, so I've sort of got a hands-on faith I like to call it.

 

SURF'S UP: Reverend Jennifer Lynn and the Uniting Church staff are starting a surf service, and everyone's invited.
SURF'S UP: Reverend Jennifer Lynn and the Uniting Church staff are starting a surf service, and everyone's invited. TAHLIA STEHBENS

"I'd sit out there and just think, this is so good for the soul, and I just thought it would be great to get other people out there too."

The Uniting Church Bargara reverend thought her idea might have been a bit too "far fetched" for the church, but was pleasantly surprised to be encouraged by Minister Dave to apply for a grant.

"He told me to write the proposal for this innovative grant, and it just so happens that we were awarded $2000 to start beach church," she said.

"Now it's just up to figuring out how we'll actually do it.."

While the ins and outs of the program are yet to be worked out, the chaplain-turned-reverend and the rest of her team want to make sure everyone feels welcome.

"There's a big move today, a lot of people don't want to go to church," she said.

"It's viewed as often being old people in a building and you just sit there and you listen and you sing some songs and then you go home.

"A lot of people today want a more tangible faith where they can think about things and can ask questions.

"It's not just pie in the sky ideas, and that's where this sort of thing appeals to people.

"I think if Jesus was walking the Earth today, he'd be sitting down there too."

Anybody interested is encouraged to attend in either their wetsuit or their board shorts.

"It's about being a real person with real issues, and how does God talk you through and help you with those issues," Reverend Jenny said.