Mayor joins pastors for night on the town

Mayor Fraser Agnew with Street Pastors Ann McIntyre, Caroline McQuilkin and Mark Welsh (Chairman) as they hit the streets of Glengormley.
Mayor Fraser Agnew with Street Pastors Ann McIntyre, Caroline McQuilkin and Mark Welsh (Chairman) as they hit the streets of Glengormley.

Mayor Fraser Agnew and representatives from the Policing and Community Safety Partnership joined the Street Pastors on their rounds in Glengormley at the weekend.

The Street Pastors are local church volunteers who provide an inter-denominational church response to urban problems and patrol areas across the borough.

The teams of four engage with those they meet on the streets and offer practical assistance such as giving out water to those who have consumed too much alcohol, assisting people to get home and removing bottles and other dangerous objects from the streets.

Mark Welsh, Chair of Newtownabbey Street Pastors, which has been running since May, commented: “We are there to listen, care and provide pastoral help in real terms. That means helping people who have got into difficulty late at night, often because of alcohol and are engaging in risk taking behaviour.”

Cllr Jim Bingham, Chair of Newtownabbey PCSP added: “The Street Pastors have very quickly made their presence felt in the borough and have made many contacts on the streets. Initial responses to the scheme have been very positive with police officers, local businesses and parents welcoming it.”

The Street Pastors project is funded by the PCSP, the PSNI and local churches.