Sunday, January 17, 2010

'Independent' piece on Street Pastors

Seem to be linking to a lot of stuff at the Indy these days:

An increasingly familiar sight in Britain's towns and cities, the inter-denominational band of Christians are on an inner-city pilgrimage to do God's work, armed not with Bibles, but with sick bags, flip flops and first aid. The organisation was set up in London in 2003 by the Rev Les Isaacs as an outreach project to tackle the gang, gun and knife culture he saw in Lewisham and Hackney.

But now its remit is changing. The number of Street Pastor groups has increased dramatically in the past 12 months, with night-time patrols established in 30more towns and cities, bringing the UK total to more than 150. These days the organisation is as much about caring for drunken revellers as it is about separating warring youth gangs.

...At half past 10, we gather between Coyote Wild Nightclub and Vodka Revolution. A mob of barely dressed girls totter forward, seemingly primed to unleash a salvo of teenage derision. Their leader is 17-year-old Bethany Ward, who seems remarkably blasé about declaring her age in front of a row of bouncers, and she is all admiration. "I just wanted to say that these guys are legends," she squeals. "When my mate was puking up the other weekend they gave them water and put them in a taxi. They don't shout at you like your parents do."

Reading the whole piece is probably enough to put any sane person off having a night out in Derby.

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