Moving from 'loving' to 'exploring': TANGO

Monday, 1 June, 2009

TANGO - insideTANGO (Together As Neighbours Giving Out) is a café and recycling centre for a Merseyside community. It was set up by the local Anglican church in 2000 in an effort to bring 'give and take' and care back into the local community. A purely social service, it nevertheless provides opportunity for Christian witness through action and conversation.

We show God's love first,

says chairperson, Avril Chisnall.

We realised that God's love is out there all the time, that people have experienced it and that all have a story to tell.

Since TANGO was established in 2000, it has grown from one day a week to three. 

Wednesdays developed into a craft day for Golden Oldies in the belief that older people still have something to offer. Golden Oldies organises trips out and the 35 to 40 members knit goods that have twice made their way to Romania and Chernobyl.

Listening to the Golden Oldies, a group of both experienced 'faithwalkers' and those remembering connections to God from 'way back', Avril and her team offered a time to get together and pray. TANGO on the QT began in the autumn of 2005 and is attended by 20 to 30 Golden Oldies every Wednesday for half an hour from two o'clock - an add-on to the craft day.

Older people still have something to offer

It's a process and we discovered that there are many at different stages of enquiry or faith, so variety is the key,

says Avril.

Sometimes it's a reflection on a few verses of God's word, sometimes music and quietness, sometimes space for prayer requests. We use a variety of things for illustrating the word: candles; stones; even a box of chocolates. Not everyone goes to a church – but everyone is grateful for the prayer. We find God does the rest – we simply need to open the channel.

Two or three people have had their 'long lost connection' reignited as a result of attending TANGO on the QT. An evening cell held at the home of the leader of Golden Oldies every Wednesday provides the opportunity to pursue faith further.

This is a learning point from: