Bringing hope to children and young people in Bugle

09 November 2023


The Youth Club and the Youth Café at Bugle Methodist Chapel have been a beacon of hope in a very deprived area of Cornwall. The chapel is currently being renovated and refurbished to ensure the building is safer and more energy efficient, and to offer better amenities to the people using it. 

Located in the St Austell Methodist Circuit, the clubs in Bugle Methodist Chapel allow almost a hundred children and young people, from a few months old to 16 years old, to meet and have a great time. “I think we have the biggest Youth club in Devon and Cornwall,” says Jenny, one of the Youth Leaders at Bugle.

Because of its amazing work with children and young people, Bugle Methodist Chapel has become a focal point in the area, bringing not only locals together but also people from nearby villages and towns. The youth clubs are welcoming and ensure that everyone knows they are accepted and valued; they receive and learn how to give back to their community.

The team does not hesitate to involve them in charitable work. “The Youth Club made remembrance light bottles that they sold to raise money for the Royal British Legion,” remembers Tasha, one of the Youth Leaders at Bugle.

More than a hundred years old, Bugle Methodist Chapel had been deteriorating over the years and the building was no-longer fit to host activities. The walls were poorly insulated, the plasterwork was in bad condition and the slates on the roof were coming off.

So, seven years ago, the local team gathered together and, led by its vision, started fundraising through a lot of coffee, cakes, and bacon roll sales. Because of Brexit and the pandemic, prices have risen and more than doubled the initial costs. It did not discourage the volunteers who kept going with the moral and financial support of their circuit. Thanks to district support, they also managed to get a grant from the Benefact Trust.

They vacated the premises in Easter 2023 and over the summer and autumn, builders have been hard at work to ensure bring the Chapel back to its former glory with a climate justice twist. “Solar panels have been installed and we have a solid floor with underfloor heating system. We hope to raise money to install a heat pump,” says Patrick Reynolds, District Property Officer.

A lot has been done on the building to bring it to modern standards. “I think we're probably looking at something like 80 to 90% reduction of the carbon emissions,” adds Patrick. Its reopening is planned for early 2024 with the official inauguration with the President of the Conference taking place in April.

In the meantime, its users are becoming restless. “The older youth club members (11 to 16) are constantly messaging asking for photos, asking for updates. They're excited to be able to get back and have somewhere where they can meet for new friendships, do things that they wouldn't do otherwise,” says Tasha.

Bugle Methodist Chapel will soon reopen and bookings are already coming in. “We are hoping that the young people that are using the facilities will come back with their own families in the future as the word spreads,” concludes Revd Iris Bray, Minister for Bugle Methodist Chapel.