Norfolk Street Partnership closes after 12 years on night-time streets of Norwich
After 12 years of bringing a calming Christian presence onto the late-night streets of Norwich clubland through its team of City Pastors, Norfolk Street Partnership has closed with immediate effect. Keith Morris reports.
The unanimous decision was taken at a Trustees meeting on October 29 after prayer and discussion. “This has been a difficult and painful decision but one that we believe is right,” said John Pinnington, NSP Chair.
“When Street Pastors, an ecumenical charity, was formed in 2007, there were often 10,000 people or more in the clubs on a Saturday night. The police were new to the dramatic increase in numbers and longer opening hours. There was no Safe Haven and the SOS bus team were just establishing themselves. A few deaths had tragically occurred. The situation was very serious and the media were active in their stories about this. We fielded a large and regular team of volunteers who were eager to support the clubbers, rough sleepers and homeless on the streets,” said John.
“Over more recent years the situation in the city centre has improved - many agencies play their part in making it a safer place to be. Clubland is better managed and there are fewer clubbers out. We have maintained a regular presence as NSP City Pastors working as part of the street network.
“However, despite considerable efforts over the past 18 months, when much interest was shown by our audiences, we have been unable to recruit new volunteers, and our regular team has dwindled for several valid reasons. We are aware that the nature of late night working is challenging, but we had hoped to have gained younger volunteers to share the load,” said John
“We are leading a final celebration service at Gage Rd Chapel this Sunday November 17 at 11am. We are so grateful to them and many others who have been so supportive of our work and ministry during our time on the streets of the night time economy. .
“We are closing NSP knowing that our Street and Prayer Teams have been very special and as committed Christians, have made a difference to the streets of Norwich. The trustees thank them all in giving so much to the vulnerable living on the edge of our society,” said John.
Pictured top are some of the NSP team.