I have been hassled for weeks to put pen to paper and I’ve finally found a spare second so here is “Meet the Pattersons”.
We are Phil the padre, Claire the cutter, Alex the actor and Bethany the bouncer…… Oh and we also have Ciara the dog. We’ve been coming to Tayside Christian Fellowship (TCF) for 5 years now and we’ve been asked to share a bit about ourselves.
Phil and I have been married for 15 years (yes, our anniversary is coming up, Phil! I hope you’ve got me something nice). Phil was ordained as a minister centuries ago and has worked as an army chaplain, a parish minister and currently runs a brand-new charity called Veterans Chaplaincy Scotland (shameless plug, please come and support us!) His passion is photography, and he is unable to leave home without a camera. You might see him popping up preaching on a Sunday or more likely, attached to a coffee cup pondering life’s big questions like most Northern Irish folk.
I am from Edinburgh and work as a surgeon in Ninewells and PRI. You might see me popping up at TCF singing with the band (yes sorry about that!) or teaching in the Sunday school. My main hobbies are chauffeuring my children to various activities and finding things they have mis-placed. I know some of you parents out there understand……
Alex is the performer of the family (unless you count preaching) and can be located by following the singing. Like most 12-year-olds he is obsessed by electronic gadgets and has just started at Perth High School. He wants to be an actor when he grows up but usefully has a backup of becoming an architect…. just in case.
Bethany is the sporty member of the family. She is rarely still and does not see the need to walk anywhere when you could cartwheel! She is 8 years old and would like to be the next Emma Raducanu. Between the two of them, I hope to retire early!
We got Ciara the dog before the kids. She was famously announced to the parish as a new addition to the family at a Sunday service. Needless to say, the congregation were disappointed she was a dog!
We settled on TCF as our church after we left the parish, mainly because it was so family friendly. We came from a church with very few children to a big bustling Sunday school where children were a crucial component of church life. The kids settled in immediately, making good friends and seeing that other children were being brought up in the Christian way (something they did not have at school).
The Sunday school teachers are fantastic at TCF, and I thank God for the amazing job they do, week in and week out. I can now add into that the committed leaders and members of the youth fellowship who have really made Alex feel welcome. The nurturing environment provided helps the children to grow and develop in the Lord and that was our number one priority at this point in our lives. The fact that the preaching is solidly Biblical, the worship is thoughtful, the welcome is genuine, the hospitality is generous and selfless, these are just added bonuses.
So, thanks for making us feel welcome and at home. If you are looking for church that suits the whole family, please do come along. Life is hard for families; parenting is tough and TCF offers that help and support that everyone needs once in a while.