The Tenby Corps of the Salvation Army is preparing to mark its 130th anniversary of worship and service in the town with a weekend of celebration.

The Salvation Army, which is an evangelical mission of the Christian Church, was founded in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth and spread rapidly in the late 19th century. It arrived in Tenby in 1886 with its gospel message and today the work continues unabated at the heart of the community.

Archived copies of the War Cry, the official newspaper of the Salvation Army, in 1886, describe the arrival of the Army to Pembrokeshire: “Barracks were packed. Many had not heard the Gospel in Welsh for over twenty years and had been inspired to work afresh for God.”

Today, Tenby Corps serves the community with popular activities including a lunch club, Catherine’s coffee shop, choir, services every Sunday and have recently launched Messy Church, an opportunity for the family to gather for music, craft and fun.

Special guests for the anniversary weekend to be held tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday are Divisional Commanders for the South and Mid Wales Division, Lieutenant Colonels Joao Paulo and Karin Ramos.

Lieutenant Colonel Ramos said: “We are thrilled to be joining in the celebrations to mark this significant milestone for the Tenby Corps. We are looking forward to a weekend of music, laughter, reflection and worship with the community of Tenby. Living in the present, we will reflect on God’s faithfulness in the past as a springboard to prepare for the future.”

Tenby Corps officer, Major David Morgans, said: “I believe that the enduring presence of the Salvation Army in Tenby is a result of our close connection with the community. We look forward to hosting a wonderful weekend of celebrations, a chance to spend time with people and to reflect on the momentous history of the Corps and our hopes and plans to continue our service to the community of Tenby.”

The Saturday evening celebration is a free festival for all featuring the South and Mid Wales Fellowship Salvation Army Band, the Morriston Songsters Brigade and special musical guest, soloist Lauren Mia Jones.

The festival will begin at 7 pm and will be held at St. Mary’s Church, High Street.

At 10.30 am on Sunday, there will be a special Family Worship Meeting at the Tenby Corps hall, followed by lunch and an opportunity to meet with the Divisional Commanders.

For more than 150 years, The Salvation Army has been transforming lives and continues to do so today in communities across the UK and throughout the world.