Market Street presence –
This was on hold at the moment due to works in the High Street. It is hoped that the High Street will be open to market traders in August 2014. The Prayer stall will be there primarily to “Say one for me”, it will not be there specifically to sell items. HR did say that she hoped to have a banner made and for those on duty to wear fleeces with “Prayer Pastor” written on it. The cost of hiring the stall is £30.00 per time and there was some concern how this was going to be met in the long term.
Street Pastors –
Has won the ‘Spirit of Bromsgrove’ award from the Council this year. At first there was indifference, but now youngsters recognise what SPs are doing. SPs have respect for the ‘door men’ who in turn respect what SPs are trying to achieve. SPs have been called angels and mangels! Some statistics were quoted:-
There is a 37% reduction in ASBOs on Friday nights – apparently Saturday nights are very different.
£8.00 a night is spent on consumables.
In the last year 2177 conversations were had and first aid administered to 30 people.
Volunteers have to train for 20 hours, so some do not complete the course. It has been suggested that if each SP could recruit another one, the numbers of Street Pastors would double, so that Saturday nights could be covered as well. It is hoped that Street Pastors could expand to Catshill to go in to schools, be there when children are taken to and from school and out on the street from 8pm – 9.30pm when youngsters are out with their bikes. JP said that there are funds available if we can provide people. There is an ‘app’ called ‘Your night’ that can be downloaded which will give guidance of where assistance can be received.
‘Open the Book’ –
25 Christians from different Churches enjoy telling stories from the Bible to children in first schools. The first school in Catshill is looking forward to beginning ‘Open the Book’ in September 2014. The Meadows and Millfields schools have been enjoying the same for a couple of years now and the children even greet those who take part when out shopping with their parents.