Proud British welcome for the American minister who loves Spain
The proud red and white colours of England mingled with the Stars and Stripes when the quiet American rolled into town.
The Rev David Bruce, who has an impressive and colourful career in the church ministry, has taken up a term of residency at the Anglican church of St. Francis in south Tenerife.
He was welcomed to the community by officiating at a rousing St George’s Day service at Los Gigantes, assisted by reader and church warden, Marisha Carter.
Rev Bruce, 67, who is making his first-ever visit to Tenerife, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at the University of Massachusetts and at Edinburgh University.
After graduating from Edinburgh University, he was ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada, serving a parish on Prince Edward Island as Rector and the University of Alberta Edmonton as Chaplain in an ecumenical team ministry.
He returned to the United States in 1983 and enlisted in the US Navy as a chaplain serving on the USS Dale, a missile cruiser, and the Marine Corps on Okinawa in Japan.
While on Okinawa in 1985, he also served as Pastoral Associate of All Souls Church where he was called back to become Rector from 2003 to 2006.
Since returning to the USA, he has worked as a Recovery Support Specialist for Sweetser of Maine. He has also been locum for the Dioceses of Maine and New Hampshire and Lutheran churches in America.
A keen keep fit enthusiast, he swims every day and likes to power walk.
And he sampled his first taste of Tenerife hospitality dining on spare ribs and salad at lunch with his congregation at Highland Paddy’s lounge in Los Gigantes village square.
He said: “The food was great and the weather here has
been a blessing after the winter we had in the north-east United States. To have been called here to serve in this inspiring place is a real grace.
“Tenerife reminds me in some ways of other places I have lived – Okinawa and Florida which are on the same longitudinal parallel.
“So the climate is the same as these places. The architecture reminds me of Okinawa with the terracotta tile roofs and stucco construction. “I love the Spanish style using motifs of tiles and bright colours and the flora is similar to Okinawa and Florida with palm trees, cacti and flowers growing year round. I notice parrots and parakeets pictured everywhere here which I like as I am a bird fancier.
” I want to go whale watching which we have at home. The mountains remind me of Norway where the houses are also built on the slopes. I do want to explore Teide in the National Park.”
He added: “Being in Spain gives me opportunity to practice my dormant skills of the language which I studied for five yeas in High School and University.The Spanish speaking people have been glad to indulge me on occasion.
“I am happy to be here and serve the Anglican Community. Everyone has been so nice and helpful. I look forward to a happy and productive time here.”
Church warden Marisha added: “Rev David had been warmly welcomed by our congregations. We are delighted to have him with us for a month.
“We are still seeking a full time replacement and hope to make an appointment later in the year.”
St Francis Anglican churches uses three churches in south Tenerife: San Eugenio, Playa de las Americas; Espiritu Santos, Los Gigantes and San Blas in San Blas commercial centre, hosting services for residents and visitors.
Information on service times can be found at: www.sfacst.com