Friday night 6 of us met at the Fairlight Christian centre for prayer and a quick cuppa. It was great to welcome back Ian Arthur who was patrolling after a 12 month break.
We had been informed there would be a larger police presence than normal in Tooting but nothing special was happening. As we made our way to Tooting Broadway police cars whistled past us and the streets were visibly fuller than normal. Being a team of 6 we could split in a number of ways.
We started in 2 groups of 3 and walked up either side of Tooting High Road. As we made our way back to Tooting Broadway we could see a commotion with a large gang of teenagers outside MacDonald’s. We decided to hang around and although they were making a lot of noise running across the road, they eventually left without a fuss on a bus.
Around midnight we stopped for a cuppa to re energise and then went back out, as people filled the streets again to make their way home. Two girls approached us a bit worse for wear and needed help drawing out money from the cash point and booking a taxi. Alan and David W were able to assist them while Janice and I helped 2 international students to get a night bus to Victoria. Alan joined us and we escorted them to the right bus stop. I think they felt like royalty more than students, but it was nice to give them some help. While all this was going on Wayne was approached by a man called Sadeeq. He shared how he used to sleep rough next to Tooting Market and he has never forgotten how the Street Pastors would always look out for him and bring him coffee at night. He is now living in accommodation and working for the Salvation Army. Since starting he has managed to help three people get off the street.
We returned to The Fairlight Centre around 2 am and prayed together for the different people we had met with.