Jay Slater: Community rally at church as friends describe missing teen as 'life and soul of the party'

As the search continues for missing Jay Slater, members of the local community rallied at a church event as his friends hoped for the return of the British teen they described as the "life and soul of the party".

The 19-year-old from Oswaldtwistle, near Blackburn in Lancashire, was on holiday in Tenerife with friends when he went missing on Monday.

He vanished after he told a friend he would be setting off on an 11-hour walk to get home, after he missed his bus, and new photographs show the property where he was last seen.

At a church in his home town, locals used blue ribbons to mark a service of hope as they left messages to the missing teen.

Two friends, speaking to Sky News, also shared stories of the teen they hoped would soon be found.

One friend of Mr Slater's said: "We've known him for a long time. We're always out with him. He's the life and soul of the party.

"Everywhere you see him he's just constantly got a smile on his face. He's always just a happy chap."

"He's just one of a kind really," they added.

They continued: "I don't think you could walk through any street [in Oswaldtwistle] and someone would say they don't know him. He's just constantly happy wherever you see him, no matter what.

"He's just always got a smile on his face. Hopefully, someone somewhere knows something and hopefully he can get found."

A second friend told Sky News: "I can't hope enough, I literally can't. It's been on my mind since Monday morning.

"I just can't seem to understand why this has happened to him and why no-one has heard anything. It's crazy, I'm lost for words."

The friend continued: "We feel like we can't do anything about it because we're over here and he's over there. If we could get a flight tomorrow we would do."

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West End Methodist Church, in Oswaldtwistle, opened its doors for an hour on Thursday evening for friends, family members and people from the local community to show their support for the search.

Mr Slater's stepdad, Andy, was present at the church with the teenager's dog Buster.

He signed a message of hope "come home soon Jay" from them both.

Reverend Matt Smith told Sky News: "You can see with the ribbons and everything that is coming out that everyone is really tight here.

"There are things on Facebook coming out as well just wanting us to do something to allow them to come and share their respects and their prayers and their well-wishes to the family and show that we want Jay to come home."

He continued: "Over the few days as we've realised he hasn't been found, that actually we're getting more and more worried about what's happened to him, and the family going out there and responding in that way as well.

"The community are just coming together to support each other and it's just really important to have each other's backs when that happens and to take care of each other."

One friend told Sky News previously that Mr Slater had "cut his leg" and didn't know where he was that night.