What was a dedicated Street Pastor from Newcastle doing in Mitford in the early evening, when he could have been out on the streets of the city on the look out for any one in need of help?
He was there because he was spreading the word about the work of Street Pastors to the Mitford WI.
Mike Johnson retired from work some time ago, but as a dedicated Christian he wanted to be of help to the community and decided to join the Street Pastor movement.
He explained that on Friday and Saturday nights from 10pm to 4am, groups of pastors go out into the night club and bar areas of central Newcastle to help those who have lost their friends, become totally incapacitated by alcohol and are in need of help and support.
This even goes to the smallest detail of providing flip-flops to replace high heels.
The intent is to provide help through the sobering up process and to ensure that those affected stay away from trouble.
Mike stressed that although the pastors are practising Christians, they do not preach but they listen to people’s problems and provide any necessary care and help they can. To this end, they work closely with the St John’s Ambulance service and the police.
After a very interesting and thought-provoking talk, he did stress that the Street Pastor service is always on the lookout for new recruits for a most worthwhile cause. Recruits clearly need dedication, compassion and many other personal skills, but the reward in terms of a job well done is enormous.