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'Incredible' response to town street pastors
8:44am Thursday 4th October 2012 in News
STREET pastors had a successful first patrol around Kidderminster to help keep people safer on their night out in the town.
The new initiative saw volunteers from The Churches Together in Kidderminster deployed for the first time with a view to helping people who had drunk too much, had hurt themselves or just needed someone to talk to.
After a commissioning service at Baxter United Reformed Church, all 16 street pastors, along with Inspector Paul Crowley of West Mercia Police, did their first patrol of the town last Friday.
Rev Derek Arnold, chairman of the street pastors committee, said: “It was really incredible. The commissioning service saw pastors being given their uniforms and then we were applauded out of the packed church.”
After the initial patrol, a team of four pastors began their first night shift until 4am. The initiative is in partnership with West Mercia Police and Wyre Forest Community Safety Partnership.
Mr Arnold added: “We were met by a lot of youngsters who had seen the story in The Shuttle and were really pleased the scheme had come to Kidderminster.
“Lots of people thought we were just about handing out flip flops and water but while we were out we could explain what we were doing. After speaking to a number of doormen at clubs and pubs, we were told that Friday nights were quieter than Thursdays or Saturdays.
“We’ll carry on with Fridays until everyone knows what they are doing and then look into changing nights.”
Mr Arnold also suggested that a similiar initiative could be set up in Bewdley if enough people were interested.