Street pastors come to Woodbridge

CHRISTIANS in Woodbridge have launched a town pastor scheme to walk the streets to help people in a vulnerable state late at night.

CHRISTIANS in Woodbridge have launched a town pastor scheme to walk the streets to help people in a vulnerable state late at night.

The aim is to support people suffering the effects of drink and drugs, defuse potentially difficult situations, and work with other agencies to provide a positive influence in the town backed by prayer.

The scheme has been launched by Churches Together in Woodbridge and Melton with the support of Woodbridge and District Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) and funding from Suffolk Coastal council.

Similar schemes in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich have had a positive effect on alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder.

Town pastors will patrol initially on Friday nights from 8.30pm to 12.30am.

They will be equipped with radios, mobile phones and can call for the help of the SNT officers for backup should they need it.

Most Read

The trained pastors, will wear high visibility yellow jackets and carry a range of essentials - from water and food to blankets and tissues. They will be briefed by police before each patrol.

SNT member PC Karle Howard said: “I am extremely grateful that they are donating their time in a co-ordinated approach to ensure that Woodbridge remains a safe place and to help those who are in a vulnerable state.

“I hope that in the future the town pastors will be warmly accepted as part of the regular Friday night scene. We have supported them in the planning of the scheme and will continue to in every stage of the implementation.”

Town pastor management team member Carolyn Swinney said: “In the last month we have had quite an intense training period but we now have everything in place and are very much looking forward to taking to the streets and making a positive contribution to the community.”

Chairman of Churches Together, Julie Mansfield said: “This type of project is precisely what the gospel promotes - people coming together to make their actions speak louder than words.”

Is the town pastors scheme a good idea - have you been helped by them? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk