THE FOUNDER of the Street Pastors took to the streets of Stratford at the weekend.
The Rev Les Isaac joined local volunteers on Saturday night February 7 as they handed out their trademark lollipops, water and flip flops to youngsters enjoying an evening in the town.
Rev Isaac launched the Street Pastors’ initiative in 2003 in the London Borough of Lambeth and there are now some 280 groups across the country.
The Stratford Pastors first took to the streets on Friday and Saturday nights in 2011 and have built up a strong rapport with the police, door supervisors, taxi drivers and restaurateurs.
A Stratford Street Pastors spokesman said: “Les and his wife Louise stayed out with us for about an hour.
“We enjoyed observing how naturally he interacted with people. He even met someone from Croydon close to where he lives.”
Earlier at an evening of celebration, worship and thanksgiving for the Street Pastors at Holy Trinity Church, the charismatic preacher told a large gathering of supporters – including Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Ball and Stratford’s Deputy Mayor Tessa Bates – he still loved taking to the streets and added it was Rev Isaac “exciting” to serve Jesus in such a way.
He challenged church leaders of all denominations in Stratford to devote just two hours twice a year to join the volunteers on the streets of the town.
“People often ask the Street Pastors ‘who are you?’ or ‘what are you doing here?’” said Rev Isaac. “And we respond ‘we are the church’. They then say ‘which one?’ And we say ‘all of them’ Our 800 year old churches have their place, but we seek to be bridge builders – taking the church to the people, offering a helping hand and a listening ear.”
Rev Isaac on the streets of Stratford. (s)