Street pastors: No hugs, but we are happy to listen

Cheltenham street pastors will be returning to their patrols as pubs and bars reopen as part of the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Street pastor Maria Perry will be part of the team on Saturday evening.

She said: “You don’t know how people will react, whether they will be over-keen to get back and celebrate because the pubs are open or if other people wouldn’t think it was the right time.

“As a street pastor, myself and the rest of the team will be only too happy to meet anyone who would want to talk to us – we are happy to listen.

“We are non-judgmental, because who am I to judge people? We would love to see people to come up and greet us.”

She added that normally people would often come up for a hug on their night out, but due to social distancing this was one thing they would be unable to do.

The team will be in the town centre for two hours, from 8pm.