TENERIFE SEPTEMBER 2019.
A lot has happened in 6 years. Towards the end of 2012, I received an unexpected e-mail. I had retired from everything I was engaged in. My time as Moderator here at BBC had finished as had my Chairmanship of the Governors of the new North Shore Academy which I had done as a Consultant to the then North Tees Primary Care Trust having previously been its Chair for a number of years.
The e-mail was an invitation to preach at South Tenerife Christian Fellowship. Would I pray about taking the services February 24th to 17th March 2013? A Minister who had previously been booked had to withdraw due to the ill health of his wife. That was the beginning of our association with the Church and continues to the present, and God willing into next year and 2022.
Ministers are invited on a month, two months, or more recently a three months basis to cover the year. There is always the proviso that if they manage to secure the services of a full time Pastor then the invitation would be withdrawn. Despite trying, there seem to be difficulties in attracting one.
There are only 11 members at the present time and 4 of those are not resident in Tenerife and only visit for 6 months or so. However, the congregations vary from 80 – 100 in the summer, to 200+ in the winter when the “swallows” go for 6 months of warm weather. It is an international community and there are usually folk from Holland, Germany, Norway and other Countries apart from the UK. There are folk who are not members who help in the work and some of the swallows also get involved when they are there.
There are 2 Services each Sunday, the Evening Service always containing Communion, a Bible Study, praise and prayer meeting on a Tuesday evening, and a Ladies Prayer Meeting on a Thursday morning. Whilst the Ladies pray the men play padel tennis, go for a walk or sit and chat over coffee. A new innovation is a Knit and Natter group for women on a Tuesday morning which is an attempt to reach out to women outside of the Church, and for the first Thursday in the month a guest speaker is invited to a coffee morning to speak on a non-spiritual subject – again to try to interest folk from outside the Church to get to know the Church people.
A prayer box is available at the back of the Church and during the Ladies Prayer and the prayer during the Tuesday evening meeting, those requests are prayed about.
The Church buildings are used by Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous.
The Church has a Facebook page and a web site and sends a monthly news sheet for those who sign up with their e-mail details.
It is a very welcoming community and supports Christian charities involved with the homeless and those suffering addiction.
Although not connected to any other group of Churches, it is generally run on Baptist lines. Most preachers come from Baptist or Anglican traditions.
Aileen and Graham.