I spent the whole of my university career falling out of night clubs bladdered.
I once fell through the window of a kebab shop smashing it's glass- disgracefully drunk. This was not my finest hour :(
I then moved to London and continued to drink too much and continued to fall out of nightclubs drunk.
I would like to tell you I then became a Christian and all that stopped.
It didn't I'm afraid. It took me far too long to awaken to the gospel and sin and it's power.
Yesterday, I became excited afresh about the most amazing initiative.
It's called Street Pastors and we are launching them in Richmond.
This all started in London in 2003 in Brixton Baptist Church as a response to gangs, gun crime, drunkenness and social disorder.
It started with 18 Street Pastors (15 women and 3 men) and now there are over 7000 in most of the major cities and leisure centres and it's now spreading across the world.
The US is only just catching on and for any of my readers across the water do please awaken to this amazing initiative and spread the word through your blogs.
It wonderfully brings together 'the urban trinity' of the police, the local authority and the church (all these gathered yesterday for the launch). Every Friday and Saturday night, teams of Street Pastors go onto the streets to care for people and offer them love and help.
Help to get a taxi home
A calming influence to break up a fight
Medical care for the wounded, emotionally distressed or hurt
Flip-flops for a girl who has lost her shoes
Water for the thirsty.
This is all supported by teams of people who pray constantly from 10-m until 4am.
We met with about 15 different church leaders across the denominations (no one from the Catholic church sadly but we hope and pray that may change) and we have agreed to launch in the Summer. We will hopefully have 20 Street Pastor volunteers initially and we have our recruitment event on 16th February here at 7.30pm.
The training is rigorous.
Do please watch the film below- it will give you a real flavour for what this is all about.
If you are a Church leader and this resonates with you, why not take the bull by the horns and get this going where you are or come to the event and get a feel for what's involved. Paul who runs Kingston Street Pastors is one of the most inspirational and passionate people I have come across in a long while.
If you want to read about it all first then get hold of the book by Les Isaacs.
And do please pray.