Revd Brian Anderson is the president of the Methodist Church in Ireland. This weekend he spent four hours on the streets with Belfast Street Pastors. Here’s what he posted on Facebook the next day.
“A group of five pastors quietly observed the antics of those on the streets in the earlier hours, intervening when appropriate. A quiet word with a homeless person in a doorway, engaging in banter with a few rowdy lads, ensuring a guy got a bed for the night, a quick word with other groups out to help, a chat with a shopkeeper offering us tea and coffee, giving flip flops to some shoeless girls, picking up 30 empty bottles, making sure that a young girl who had drunk too much got home safely, giving water to another, providing a blanket to keep a person warm.
“We speak of incarnational theology, seeing what God is doing and joining in. The Street Pastors project is a great example. It is also a great testament to churches and other agencies working together for the common good.
“I travelled home to Bangor around 3 am this morning thinking there were many feet on the streets of Belfast last night, but the feet of Him who brings good news were also there.
“Well done, Street Pastors, and others. You bring some safety and care to the streets of Belfast every Friday and Saturday night. I have been humbled by your loving presence.”