Street pastors aim to make town safer

FOLLOWING success in Hastings, a scheme to help make the streets at night safer is to be launched in Bexhill.

Plans are underway to give the town a team of street pastors after representatives recently met with church ministers.

A management committee has already formed, the nucleus for which comes from those already involved in the scheme launched in Hastings in February last year.

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Street pastors aim to work with the police, Rother District Council and other agencies to bring more peace to the streets of Bexhill at night.

Hastings co-ordinator Martin West said: “Careful not to preach or evangelise, street pastors stress the importance of listening, caring and offering non-judgemental help anyone they meet.

“The plan is to operate in Bexhill hotspots every weekend on Friday nights initially and up till 1am or 2am on Saturday mornings.”

Street pastors patrol in teams of four local churchgoing volunteers, and are complemented by a prayer pastor team at a central base in Bexhill town centre, with whom they will be in mobile phone contact during duties.

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On Tuesday December 6 at 7.30pm an inaugural information and recruitment evening will be held at Sidley Baptist Church. Anyone interested in joining, or who’s just curious, is invited to attend and refreshments will be served.

New Bexhill co-ordinator Karen Coughlan is available to answer any questions or give talks and presentations to any local groups - whether church or not - any day and time of the week.

She can be contacted on her mobile phone at 07502 451665 or by email [email protected]

The first street pastors scheme was set up in Brixton in January 2003. Today there are more than 9,000 trained street pastors in more than 200 UK locations who report to London-based charity, Ascension Trust, which originally formed in response to rising crime levels and anti-social behaviour across the UK.

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