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Street Pastors Commissioned
On Tuesday, 4th December, eighteen volunteers from the churches in Nantwich and Acton were commissioned by Ann Murphy, Representative of the national Ascension Trust, which administers the scheme in 300 UK towns and cities, and Pat Lockett, Chairman of the Nantwich Street Pastor Management Committee, at a special united service at St Mary’s parish church. During the service, led by the Rev’d Stephen Snelling, a member of the local Management Committee also, the Street Pastor scheme was welcomed and supported by Graham Fenton, Mayor of Nantwich and local Police Sergeant Richard Tomlinson.
After a meal together at the Nantwich Bookshop café, the new pastors and their prayer support team met at the Methodist Church in Hospital Street to be briefed by Ann before going out onto the streets of Nantwich on their first patrols. All went out at 10pm in teams of four to different parts of the town initially, before returning at midnight to debrief and support four of their colleagues who would stay out until the pubs, clubs and take-aways closed at around 3am.
This team braved the wet and cold night to offer help to those who needed it after having too much to drink or were in a distressed state, handed out six pairs of flip-flops to young women who were walking barefoot, unable to stand properly on their high heels, and removed bottles and broken glass from areas where they could be a danger to those enjoying a night out. The team was gratified by the many expressions of welcome and support given by people they met and chatted to on the street. The town was busy as Tuesdays are ‘Students’ Nights’ and it was after 3.30am before the team felt able to go back to their base and debrief, met with bowls of hot soup prepared by the ‘prayer pastors’ who had been up all night supporting them, both at base and from their homes.
Teams of four Street Pastors in their distinctive blue uniforms with reflective logos and caps or beanies with logos also showing, will be seen regularly on the streets of Nantwich on some of the busiest nights over the Christmas period and initially on alternate Tuesday and Saturday nights in the New Year, offering help to the most vulnerable who need it.
Nantwich Street Pastors