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Street Pastors keeping night clubbers safe
12/10/13
Street Pastors in Leamington Town Centre

Earlier this year, Ascension Trust commissioned a new group of 'Street Pastors' (SPs) from various church denominations across Leamington and Warwick. They work 10pm to 4am on Saturday nights in Leamington Town centre, coordinating efforts with the Police and Council, so the streets remain as safe as possible amidst the revelry. Pubbers and clubbers are surprised at the churches working together!

Street Pastors, who don’t 'preach' but give practical help and a shoulder to cry on. have captured imaginations.  One of our SPs is blind and his dog Eddie is like a magnet, and a great conversation-starter!

We have made a difference by seemingly trivial acts, shown in these reflections from our group:

"A free bottle of water is well received by a lad we find sitting on the pavement trying to clear his head before he tries to set off home."

"It’s 2 in the morning and two girls are starting to panic because a couple of taxis have refused to take them home because of their mate, who is 'rather the worse for wear'.  We talk to the next taxi and show him they have our sick bags and he agrees to take all three of them home."

"Called on our 2-way radio by concerned door-staff who lead us to a girl who has lost her phone and thinks her mates have gone home without her.  We reassure her and wait with her 20 minutes until the club empties and her friends find her."

Admired as a fashion-accessory, our foil blankets prevent hypothermia when people collapse on pavements ...although we have yet to experience winter nights.

My favourite experiences? Giving flip-flops to three barefoot canoeists walking through town (after leaving the River Leam) with an upturned canoe on their shoulders - the following Saturday, 'Canoe-girl' (our nickname) thanked us and talked at length.  Outside a Nightclub at 3.30am, an inebriated 20 year-old got on his knees and asked me to bless him.  I suggested he stand, and prayed for him - minutes later his sister came up and asked me to pray for her too!  This feels like love in action as Jesus intended.