Street pastor scheme for Bewdley

STREET PASTORS: A new scheme could come to Bewdley.

STREET PASTORS: A new scheme could come to Bewdley.

First published in Local Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A STREET pastor scheme could be set up in Bewdley under plans being considered by the town’s churches.

Riverside Elim, St Anne’s Parish, Bewdley Baptist, Bewdley Methodist and Holy Family churches hope to launch the service in partnership with West Mercia Police.

The initiative would involve volunteers from the churches’ congregations helping people who have drunk too much, hurt themselves or just need someone to talk to, especially on Friday or Saturday nights.

Rev Carl Johnston, of Riverside Elim Church, said: “Bewdley does have a lively nightlife, especially in the early evening, and the street pastors will be there to listen, care and help.

“If it goes ahead we will aim to follow in the footsteps of the successful street pastor project in Kidderminster.”

Rev Derek Arnold, chairman of the Kidderminster street pastors' committee, said: "We wholeheartedly support the Bewdley churches in what they are doing.

“We believe in the scheme because it is a successful model and we will help them in whatever ways we can.”

Kidderminster street pastors, which was set up in September, 2012 by The Churches Together group in the town, currently supports members of the public every Friday night and on some Saturday nights.

Details of the Bewdley service, including days and times of operation, will depend on how many people sign up to train as street pastors.

Mayor of Bewdley, Derek Killingworth, said: “I think it is an excellent idea to set up a street pastor scheme in the town.

“One of my concerns for many years has been underage drinking and, sadly, the use of drugs and if the pastors can talk to these young people and help them back into a safe life it will be fantastic.

“The church members involved in the discussions seem so dedicated I am sure the scheme will become a valuable part of the local community.”

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