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The Gibraltar Methodist Church is part of the South West District of the Methodist Church of Great Britain. It has a long history associated with the development of British Gibraltarmarker, and it has greatly strengthened its ties with the local population since the scaling down of Britain-based forces in recent years. In 2006 it appointed Fidel Patron - the first-ever Gibraltarian Superintendent Minister.

History

Methodism in Gibraltarmarker began in 1769 with a group of Soldiers the best known of which was Sergeant Major Henry Ince, who was himself a Methodist lay preacher. Sgt Ince became famous in Gibraltar through his work in the Upper Galleries or "Great Siege Tunnelsmarker" as they are known today. It was his home that provided the first meeting place for Methodists.

The first Methodist Church was built in 1809 in Prince Edward's Road and later a school and Manse were added. As Methodism grew the work spread into the Southern part of Spainmarker where Churches and schools were established.

Always linked with work among service personnel, that work became focussed in the establishment of a recreation club in part of the school, and in 1898 a 'Welcome' home for soldiers and sailors was opened at No.6 Church Street, the site of the old Eastern Telegraph offices. The 'Welcome' moved to the present site at 297 Main Streetmarker in 1933 and was renamed 'Wesley House', the name that still stands today. Through the Church and its ministry of worship and service thousands of people of all faiths and none were welcomed and cared for over these years of increasing outreach and growth.

The Church moved to its present location in 1956 when the old Church and Manse were sold. The building was reconstructed into its present shape, and from here the Church has become the spiritual home not only of Methodists but of Christians from many backgrounds who live and work in and around Gibraltar.

In 1997 the Church in Gibraltar became part of the then London South West District of the Methodist Church in the United Kingdom and ceased to come under the orbit of the Forces Board. This move recognized that, while the link with the forces remained, the work of the Church was now very much focussed towards the whole community of Gibraltar and its surrounding area.

The Church today

The Methodist Church in Gibraltar has seen many changes in its life over the years from its beginnings in the home of Henry Ince, to its work among the Forces until the present day when it has become a Church for the whole community and people of Gibraltar.

Worship on Sundays is at 11.00am and 7.00pm and the congregation is often representative of the World Church with local people, visitors from other countries, expatriates and others who work in Spain and elsewhere.

The church also runs a café, "The Carpenter’s Arms", and a Christian Bookshop "Words Aflame", with a video lending library. Both the 'Arms' and 'Words Aflame' are staffed mainly by volunteers. They also run the Alpha Course twice a year with help from members of other Churches in Gibraltar. The Gibraltar Church is now strongly linked to Methodism in the UK through the South East District of The Methodist Church. Wesley House can be found at 297 Main Street, just along from the Governor’s residence.

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