A young woman has lost her bag, her ID and her boyfriend. She’s wandering around in an emotional and vulnerable state, desperately searching.
In the lobby of the Santander bank, another woman shelters. She’s missed her train back to London, and faces a long, cold, lonely wait for the bus station to open in the morning.
On the ring road, not far away, a man lies sleeping with his face in his own vomit.
These are just three situations Canterbury Street Pastors have been able to help with, contacting the father of the first young woman, ensuring she got safely home; providing a space blanket and alerting CCTV surveillance to keep an eye on the woman waiting for the bus station; getting the young man cleaned up, with a bottle of water inside him, and reconciled with his friends.
Geoff Farnham is The City Church’s co-ordinator for Canterbury Street Pastors.
‘Out on the streets we are often asked what we do, and our simple answer is ‘We are Christians trying to bring the love of Jesus here to the streets of Canterbury.’
‘We are generally well received and people are surprised we are from many different churches, voluntary, and not out to preach or proselytise; the frequent comment when we explain what we are about is ‘cool’, and on chilly nights we are certainly that.’
‘Senior police officers up and down the country have commented positively about Street Pastors. They see a reduction in crime and other incidents on nights when Street Pastors are out.'
‘While the Street Pastors are out there is a group praying at headquarters. The Street Pastors do not go out if there isn’t a backing prayer team.'
‘During the time of worship at The City Church following my first night on patrol I was overwhelmed with a sense of God’s love for mankind, John 3:16 punched into my heart with new force as I realised afresh just how much God SO loved the lost of this world. This sense remains strongly with me and impacts my spirit every time I am out on patrol.’
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