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#Alton Town Pastors

For the last two months I have been ministering with the Alton Town Pastors on a Saturday evening until the early hours of Sunday morning. Starting from 9pm on team of two or three walk around the pubs and meeting points in the High Street of Alton, while another similar team 'loiter with intent' in the Market square, serving free hot drinks to any who ask.

In each case we talk with the people enjoying a night out. Mostly, we are appreciated for our calming presence, dishing out lollipops and water when needed and sometimes answering some serious questions about faith and life, and yes even praying for people there and then.

As the evening progresses and those who cannot curtail their drinking get noisy and sometimes aggressive with each other we can find ourselves watching on and calling the police if needed. Around 1am there is an exodus to the kebab shop and 100 or more gather to await taxis and lifts. Here we have some deep conversations with people, or share a bit of lighter chat — whatever is needed.

I was reminded of something Rowans Williams wrote in his recent book 'Being Christian' that our baptism places us where Jesus would be. Jesus said 'Where I am, there will my servant be also' (John 12: 26). It's a sobering (?) thought that we are with Jesus in that merry, drunk and sometimes aggressive throng. Talking, praying and sharing the Good News of Jesus.

Please pray for this great ministry and perhaps consider if you would like to explore the possibility that it might be a gift you could share in.

If you would like to discuss this ministry further please call me on 83458

God bless

David Hinks

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