The Hinckley Street Pastors have now been pounding the town’s streets for coming up 8 years with thousands of contacts behind us and even more in front. This year we have amalgamated with Nuneaton who have a dedicated team of Street Pastors but did not have a management team so we have agreed to provide that so they can continue their good work on the streets of Nuneaton. We are current looking at Street Pastors going on duty in each other’s towns to gain more experience of different night time economies and we are also in the process of signing up for being Hinckley & Bosworth Council Emergency Centre volunteers.
We are always grateful for the immense support we get in so many different ways from the churches of Hinckley through prayer, funding and weekly use of the Salvation Army hall. We felt it would good to give you a flavour of the kind of things we encounter each week, hence this article, and the way we hope we bring the face of Jesus to the people of night time Hinckley. Please remember any of you are welcome to join one of our duty teams one night/morning as an observer and see first-hand the needs of the people of our town. If you would like to join us for a unique tour of Hinckley town please get in contact with Helen Pibworth at firstname.lastname@example.org
What follows is a snap shot of encounters in just one evening in May but it could easily be any night we are on duty, or not.
- 64 year old man, 24 years in 41 commando unit, he lost his wife 18 months ago and he felt that he may have caused her emphysema because of being away so much. Served in the Falkland’s at goose green and the long march to Port Stanley. Very drunk but walking home having being reassured the loss of his wife was not his fault.
- A girl in her early 20’s who had gone to church since the age of 4 with her mother but had left in her mid-teens as did not believe, or so she thought, now felt there may be something and wanted to go back but was apprehensive so we told her about hope church and their 10.30am Sunday service.
- Another man in his mid-40’s had bad experiences of catholic and CofE church but now wanted to go back to church so recommended he went to a non-main stream denomination to see if he had a better experience and gave him a few suggestions in Hinckley.
- A lad in his mid-20’s who had a 7 month old daughter with his girlfriend, who had now gone off with some else but for whom he still had deep feelings despite feeling very cheated but was babysitting his daughter the following Saturday while his ex-girlfriend went out to probably to sleep with some else, as he put it. He was however very proud of his new jacket which was white and quilted from a popular TV series and had 2 mates with him who seemed very supportive and always putting the positive on things.
- Spoke to a 22 year old lad on a weekend pass from the Royal artillery regiment to see his girlfriend the following evening and had come out with 2 of his mates to get away from his father’s girlfriend and what they would be getting up to in his 2 bedroomed flat. Had to be back in barracks by 8am on Monday morning near Bournemouth on the south coast but was having a fun time with his mates.
- Met and had a long chat about life, referendums, local council, football and in particular Leicester City with Sam who is 21 and has worked in a care home for the last 5 years and was out with his mate as he had a day off on the Saturday.
- Met a girl, mid 20’s, who was from Latvia and was out with 2 other mates for a good time which based on her speech was going well. Not met us before so wanted to know what we are and what we do and they all took a boiled sweet.
- Asked to help a lady who needed to go home by taxi, according to her boyfriend, but as it turned out she was not of the same opinion so had to be careful how we helped without getting embroiled in a domestic dispute but made sure it did not turn ugly as they had both been drinking heavily.
- England 1 Russia 1 and Regent street fills with football fans a little worse for wear and somewhat disappointed which results in a fight breaking out in front of the gas works bar and involves the street pastors mixing with the watching crowd to keep them calm while 12 police officers get stuck in removing the trouble makers from the seething pile of bodies in the middle of the street.