Since the Norfolk Christian charity was formed in 2007, it has been part of London-based Ascension Trust umbrella organisation for many Street Pastors groups. Over those four years, the Norfolk charity has greatly developed its work in places such as Norwich city centre and suburbs, Dereham, Diss and Great Yarmouth.
To maintain the current work, and take it on to its next stage of development, the charity’s trustees now feel that joining the Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network would be beneficial.
Chairman Richard Pennington said: “The CNI is a much more loose-knit structure than Ascension Trust, which nevertheless is very helpful in networking, sharing ideas and receiving useful advice on, for example, policies and procedures.
“Our ministry in Norfolk is significantly different from that in London and from our perspective, what may work extremely well in a metropolitan borough doesn’t transfer to a largely rural county. To comply with the more recent Ascension Trust requirements would significantly reduce the effectiveness of our work.
“In practical terms, this should make no difference to the wonderful work that our paid staff and volunteers do in town and city centres across Norfolk.”
The CNI already includes groups such as Town Pastors in Ipswich and Lowestoft, Street Angels, Nightlight and Street Pastors. Its work has been backed by the Right Hon. Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, who said: "I welcome these night-time initiatives such as Street Angels. You are working hard to help the communities in which you live by making the streets safer and I am extremely grateful to you all for that. I pray that these initiatives continue to result in reduced crime and the fear of crime. Keep up the good work!"