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Ipswich: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby praises Town Pastors

23:31 28 March 2014

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby praised the efforts of fellow Christians in Ipswich tonight as he witnessed their work helping vulnerable revellers incapacitated by alcohol.

Archbishop Justin Welby visits the night-time streets of Ipswich with town pastors.
Pictured talk with Ipswich revellers Archbishop Justin Welby visits the night-time streets of Ipswich with town pastors. Pictured talk with Ipswich revellers

Archbishop Justin joined with the Town Pastors as they patrolled the streets supporting worse-for-wear drinkers who had become separated from friends.

“The Town Pastors in Ipswich are widely known as one of the best quality projects around the country,” he said.

“It’s very impressive to see so many Christians involved in a real expression of the love of Jesus Christ to the people of the town. It’s practical action and I’m very excited to see it.”

The Town Pastors work in partnership with police, councils and supporters in the business community to make the streets safer without interfering in the fun and enjoyment sought by many on their night out. Archbishop Justin said excessive indulgence had “always been a part of human nature” and the church was not there to judge. “We just need to support people,” he added.

The scheme started with a group of 20 concerned Christians who were prepared to spend late nights helping others.

It has grown to include more than 570 volunteers from different faith denominations covering nine towns across Suffolk.

The Rev Canon Paul Daltry, minister for church and community engagement in the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich diocese said: “Town Pastors work in close partnership with the police and other agencies, but they guard their independence as they must not be seen to be another branch of the authorities, but rather friends on the streets who care for people and who look out for people.”

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