Located at the heart of the St Austell, the Trinity Centre was once a pub and, next door, a block of flats. Two years ago, the neighbouring parish church began the process of converting the buildings into a café and community hub.

Today, it’s the base of operations for the church’s social outreach activities and plays a particularly important role in their work to support young people and families in the town.

Last week, they launched a six-week course in parenting. They also run a popular toddlers group at the church itself, which attracts more than 50 children, parents and carers every Wednesday morning.

The pews have been put on castors so they can be pushed back to make space for the kids to play.

“There’s playing, making, sticking and singing,” says Lesley Lawther, Trinity’s minister for communities and pastoral care.

“It’s so busy,” adds her colleague, Caroline Allsup-Evans. “It’s packed with children.”

“Beware your ankles on the little trucks and cars they drive around,” Lesley laughs.

A group of around two dozen older kids, aged eight to fourteen, meets every other Wednesday evening at the church.

They get to play table tennis and badminton. There are crafts, board games and even a snooker table. One popular activity is when the team play dance videos for the kids to dance along to.

They also sometimes run themed evenings. They’ve recently hosted ‘nerf wars’ and a silent disco.

“Most don’t come from churchgoing families,” Lesley says. “It’s not heavily evangelical. It’s about building relationships, creating a safe space where they can hang out with their friends and have a lot of fun. The kids say they love it.”

They also offer a Sunday evening group for older teenagers at the Trinity Centre.

“It’s a more chilled hang-out space, a mix of Christian and non-Christian young people,” Lesley explains.

The teenagers can play video games and table football. They also make food together, preparing nachos and ‘mug cakes’.

(Mug cakes, Lesley explains, are cup cakes baked in mugs.)

Earlier this month, they ran an Easter egg hunt.

“They don’t usually get to enjoy egg hunts at their age,” Lesley says. “We hid the eggs around the building and then just let the teenagers go. It was carnage.”

“But memorable,” Caroline adds. “We’re still finding mini eggs around the place.”

“Mini eggs and nerf bullets,” Lesley laughs.

They’ve recently also hosted their first two family tea evenings. They’ve provided a safe space with toys, crafts and activities. Their team of volunteers cook and serve a free hot dinner.

“It’s been really appreciated by families who’ve been finding the cost of living particularly challenging,” Lesley says.

On Shrove Tuesday, they prepared more than 100 pancakes for their 50 guests.

Then, in the Easter holidays, they ran three superhero-themed mornings for primary school kids. These sessions included crafts, games, songs and stories about such ‘biblical superheroes’ as Esther, Daniel and David.

Feedback from their participants was unanimously positive.

“My son loved the holiday club,” said one mum.

“We had lots of fun,” added a younger participant.

“The best cheese sandwich I’ve ever had,” another enthused.

On Easter Saturday, they offered another free event which even involved inflating a bouncy castle in Holy Trinity Church.

“One mum said it was brilliant,” Lesley recalls. “She was so pleased – it was the only free thing for families in the area.”

The event proved hugely popular with local people.

“The noise level in the church was immense,” laughs Caroline.

For the last two Christmases, they’ve also run a winter wonderland at the church. They’ve had a grotto with snow-making and snowball fights. One selfless volunteer even dressed up as Olaf the snowman from Frozen.

“I think we’re becoming known for providing events and opportunities for the community,” Lesley says. “We’re a work in progress. It’s important to show that the church is alive and happening and invested in our town.”