Non-Conformist Christian Church
St. Just Free Church is a non-conformist Christian Church which has the teaching of the Gospel at its heart. Its proper title of “Methodist Free Church”, as shown on the plaque at the front, gives a clue as to its roots. It is the smallest of the three place of Christian worship in this town, the others being the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Chapel Road (a.k.a. the St. Just Miners’ Chapel), and the much older and historic Anglican Parish Church of St. Just, next to Market Square.
The Minister is Pastor Geoff Cottam who came to us, with his wife Esther, in January 2018. His most obvious role is that of leading the regular Sunday Worship, with this and other aspects of his work being supported by members of this Church. He sometimes stands aside to welcome other worship leaders from elsewhere who either live locally or who come down from up-country on holiday. He is very keen to continue fostering ecumenical links with Christians of other denominations, especially through the holding of local events which are led by the local Churches. Everyone is welcome to join us in our services of Christian Worship.
For information about the day-to-day running of the Church, see the final paragraph under “CONSTITUTION”.
This Church actively supports other charities, including Tear Fund, Samaritans Purse, the Salvation Army, the Children of God Philippines, and Shelterbox, amongst others.
St. Just Free Church is affiliated to the Wesleyan Reform Union of Churches (WRU). The Free Church here in St. Just is the sole representative of this denomination in the west of England, the next nearest being at High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.
Pattern of Worship
The pattern of worship here is entirely the responsibility of the leader of each act of worship (Free by name, and Free by nature!), though this can, and often is, interspersed with contributions from the members and any others who may be attending our worship. Usually, it consists of a selection of hymns or worship songs, prayers, readings from the Bible, and a talk or sermon. Being a non-conformist denomination, there is no requirement to follow a set liturgy, the pattern varying from meeting to meeting.
Historically, the membership of the Free Church has enjoyed the benefits of close social interaction with both of its neighbours, the St. Just Wesleyan Methodist Church and the Parish Church of St. Just, with whom we continue to foster good “working” relationships through actively supporting the “Penwith Pilgrims”, a version of the more widely known Churches (or Christians) Together movement. This interaction has readily spread to include the Anglican Church at Sennen, and to Escalls Methodist Chapel (a.k.a. the Surfer’s Chapel).
Currently this inclusiveness extends only to bi-monthly coffee mornings held at each of the “member” churches in turn, but there is the potential to expand this involvement to include other activities, especially where social concern and interaction in and with the wider Community is concerned. Support for this joint involvement is readily acknowledged from the various Church leaders: the Vicar of St. Just (whose benefice includes three parishes); the Vicar of Sennen (part of the Land’s End benefice); and the Stewards of the St. Just Methodist Church. These, with the Free Church, are the only places of Christian worship within this locality (in fact, we are not aware of any other openly practicing faiths west of Penzance!). There are a few local residents who follow other traditions – Roman Catholics, the Light and Life Church, to name but two – whose worshippers join us for fellowship.
If you are visiting the area, and you know of any events taking place here, whether or not you are a regular “church-goer”, you are just as welcome to join in with us. Whilst there may be differences between the various patterns of worship to be experienced, there are nevertheless common bonds which are explored, which identify a sense of unity, if not uniformity.