Media Release - Lent prayer guide aims to make communities like new again:
A Christian charity has produced a Lent Prayer Guide to help people pray for the night-time economy as well as participate in a daily #Do1NiceThing challenge between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday (6th March - 21st April)
Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network have produced the resource as a tool for the church to prayerfully engage in issues that are prevalent within communities at night. The booklet, which has a theme of Making City Streets Like New Again, showcase some of the agencies and organisations who are helping bring change within society including Street Angels, Club Angels and Festival Angels.
The Lent Prayer Guide, which is available to download for free from cninetwork.org/lent, includes reflections from national church leaders including: Bishop of Wakefield, Right Reverend Tony Robinson; founder of ROC Debra Green OBE; former General Superintendent of Elim, John Glass; theologian and author John Drane; Director of Christians on the Left, Louise Davies; Director of Christian Police Association, Lee Russell; and CEO of Mercy UK, Arianna Walker.
Included within the Prayer Guide are daily #Do1NiceThing ideas which encourage people to serve others and the wider community each day in Lent.
The resource also includes words of support for CNI Network and local projects from leaders within a wide range of organisations including the Evangelical Alliance, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, Churches Together in England, Cinnamon Network, Big Church Day Out and Purple Flag.
Founder and CEO of CNI Network, Paul Blakey MBE, says of the Lent Prayer Guide, "This resource is a fantastic way to get the church across the UK engaged in prayer with an aim of making our night-time communities like new again. Week after week volunteers from the church and community are partnering to serve on the frontline and provide help and support in a wide variety of ways. I believe that prayer and action go hand in hand and the results are tangible with lower crime, problems solved and communities strengthened. CNI Network's Prayer Guide will help more people engage in prayer and action which will benefit society even further."
The Lent Prayer Guide can be downloaded for free as a PDF and image files, which can be shared on social media, from cninetwork.org/lent .
A Dundee chaplain who gives up his time to help those in need has been recognised in Queen’s New Year honours list
Receiving a British Empire Medal is Rock Street Chaplains co-ordinator Andrew Burns.
Andrew, known as Andy, set up Rock Street in 1999 and, along with other chaplains, he goes out into the city each weekend to speak to those on a night out who may be vulnerable, as well as helping the homeless.
The chaplains can be out on the streets across the city centre from 10.45pm each night until as late as 3.30am.
Andy said: “We work at night. We get people into taxis. Some folk just need a chat. Folk sometimes ask us about God, so we do chat to them about religion. We try to be a friendly face on the street at night.”
For those seeking help and referral to other groups, Andy said the street chaplains are mainly the first point of contact.
Speaking about the award he said: “I got a letter about November. It was a big shock. I was delighted but shocked.
“The hardest thing has been keeping it quiet.
“My wife knew and my son and daughter knew but they were sworn to secrecy. They were shocked and pleased.
“We will probably go out for dinner as a family in the new year. The whole team will go out and celebrate.”
Andy added he couldn’t do it without the team.
“We have a big team – the amazing people that we work with – without them, I couldn’t have done it,” he said.
“It’s the guys and girls and the ladies that are really in the thick of things.
“This British Empire Medal is for them as much as for me.”
Andy Burns who set up ROCK Street Chaplains, Dundee in 2000 and has since served on the CNI Network trustee board and supported CNI Network in our expansion particularly in Northern Ireland is awarded the BEM in the New Years 2019 honours list . CNI Network congratulate Andy on this well deserved honour...
Hi folks.. The news will break later this evening but I want all past and present Street Chaplains to know first that I have been honoured in the new years list with a BEM (British Empire Medal) for work with Street Chaplains. However I want you all to know that this is as much your honour as it is mine. You folks are the real hero's and the Street Chaplains before you. Without you this ministry would never have been the success that it is. Thank you everyone. God bless you all, you are an amazing group of people to share in ministry with. Listening, Caring, Sharing.
Here are a couple of photos of Andy Burns BEM in action!!!!
As many people are gearing up for New Year’s celebrations, one Barrow community group is preparing for a busy few weeks.
Barrow Street Angels is dedicated to providing support and care to party goers out on the town in the early hours of the weekend.
Each Saturday night, a group of six volunteers venture out on to the streets of Barrow to offer help to those revellers who are in need of assistance, from providing flipflops to women no longer wishing to walk in their high heels to using lollypops as a way of diffusing arguments.
Meeting around midnight, the group of volunteers stock up on water, flip flops and lollypops. Before heading out, we stopped for a short prayer, asking for everyone in Barrow to have a safe night.
The volunteers are all in jovial spirits as we head out in to the night; party goers recognise the signature orange jackets and wave or come over for a chat.
As we turn on to Cavendish Street, two young ladies stop to tell the Street Angels “you do so much for the everyone who goes out in Barrow, so thank you for that.”
The compliments and messages of thanks continue throughout the night, with some people wanting to know more about the group and others asking where they can get involved and volunteer.
The Street Angels have been volunteering in Barrow for just over a year now, with the first group going out Saturday October 7, 2017.ver for Lollypops or bottles of water.
Jonny Harrison, who has been a volunteer for Street Angels since the group was created, said: “Since we started going out, we’ve seen less and less incidents during the night.”
As the night continues, the streets become busier and the crowds become increasingly lively. You can hear minor arguments breaking out between groups of friends, but even the sight of the street angels seems to calm the situation down.
A calm “is everything ok?” and offers of lollypops and water soon dissolve any animosity and the conversations soon return to how much everyone appreciates what the group does.
One young lady calls from across Cavendish Street and rushes over to thank the Street Angels for helping her order a taxi on a previous weekend. She said: “Knowing you guys are out makes me and my friends feel a lot safer on a night out. It’s good to there’s always someone to help.”
Street Angels was set up by Reverend Sophie Carnaby. As Police Chaplain to South Cumbria Police, she was aware of the pressure placed on police and other emergency services every weekend to make sure the party goers of Barrow enjoy themselves without getting into trouble.
Rev Carnaby said: “We offer flip flops to women who might need them, we also give out lollypops to people in an effort to diffuse aggressive situations.
“We’ve found they work very well as a means of calming down these kinds of situations. You offer someone a lollypop they often forget what they were angry about, even if they don’t, it’s very difficult to stay angry at someone else when they’re standing sucking on a lollypop.”
Rev Carnaby said she hopes the group can help Barrow party goers to stay safe. She said: “We just want people to enjoy their nights out and get home safely.
“We walk people home and call family members to come collect them if it is required.
“We also take on the responsibility of calling for ambulances if it is really necessary.”
Rev Carnaby smiled as she recollects a man who wanted to go to hospital because he was burping too much. She said:
"We reassured him if he drank his beer more slowly things would be fine and he was soon on his way.
“Our real aim is to reduce the stress on the emergency services in order to allow them to go deal with the real issues.”
Barrow Street Angels' work supporting the emergency services has been praised by Barrow Police.
Inspector Jim Bailey said: “Anybody who volunteers to contribute to the community and helps make it better is doing a great thing.
“These people are volunteers. They are coming together to contribute out of their own goodwill.
“They have helped contribute to making sure people in Barrow have a safe night out.
“We work very closely with them and we support them at any opportunity we can.
“These are people coming forward and helping the community.”
For Rev Carnaby, Barrow Street Angels' work is as much for the people as it is for emergency services.
She said: “At the end of the day we’re not just there to support the emergency services, we’re there to support the people.
“If our work means more people get to sleep in their own beds rather than in A&E or a jail cell, then that’s great."
“We care about our town and those who live here.”
Anyone interested in joining Street Angels should go to their Facebook page.
Oldham Street Angels were featured on BBC 1's Christmas Day Service which was broadcast live from Oldham Parish Church.
Street Angels heaven-sent for casualties of messtivities
Santa’s big helpers were kept busy on Black Eye Friday.
Street Angels were on patrol to help stricken revellers including a young man who collapsed unable to speak.
His worried friend said: “We bought pills from some guy – it’s gone wrong.”
They wrapped the man in foil and gave first aid until paramedics took over.
Street Angels volunteers ease the strain on the NHS on one of the busiest nights of the year for drink-related injuries.
Stuart Robertshaw, one of the eight on patrol in Leeds, West Yorks, said: “That was distressing. He’d smashed his head on the pavement then his condition worsened as the drugs took hold.”
There are over 130 Street Angels projects in the UK, part of the Christian Nightlife Initiative founded by Paul and Jean Blakey.
Volunteers are first-aiders and partner with door staff, local authorities and NHS to create a “safety network”, staying in touch via radio.
The NHS has also spent £300,000 on drunk tanks this year to ease pressure on A&Es and the Sunday People joined a unit in Birmingham.
The first reveller to get treatment was a man in his 30s who fell and cracked his head open in a club opposite. As he was treated, his friends began shouting at staff. Mike Duggan, operations manager of the treatment unit on Broad Street, said:
”We get verbal and physical abuse.”
Back in Leeds, Street Angels were helping a man in his 50s who thought his drink was spiked. Bouncer Bernard Armstrong, 45, said: “He’s been vomiting and doesn’t know how to get home. I can’t spend time dealing with this so the Street Angels are a godsend.”
Project coordinator Katie Waters, 34, calms the man and gets him into a taxi.
Flagging women in heels gratefully accept flip-flops the Angels hand out. In some cities, they get through 2,000 pairs in six months.
When the streets are finally quiet at around 3.30am, the team call it a night.
Katie says: “It’s satisfying to know you’ve helped people have a great time.”
Our teams of Street and Club Angels were busy across the UK as the annual Friday before Christmas celebrations and nights out led to busier than normal town and city centres. The Mad Friday patrols also attracted media attention with ITV local news out with Hull Street Angels Trinity and Daily Mirror reporter and photographer out with Leeds Street Angels. Some teams also took chocolates and sweets out to door-staff, pub and club staff, takeaways and emergency services.
Daily Mirror highlight Street Angels:
The annual nation-wide party has been branded Mad Friday - and sees many get well and truly into the festive spirit on the last Friday before Christmas
Thousands of Brits celebrated the end of their working year tonight with a traditional boozy Christmas night out.
The annual nation-wide party has been branded Mad Friday - and sees many get well and truly into the festive spirit on the last Friday before Christmas.
The night out is one of the most popular for Christmas parties, and is also commonly the last day of work for factory and construction workers.
Given it's one of the busiest nights out of the year, police and ambulance services have their work cut out dealing with revellers who have indulged just a little too much.
Alcohol related 999 calls typically soar, as A&E services expect a 40 percent rise in booze-fuelled injuries.
There are extra ambulance crews and police officers on duty, with some cities even setting up mobile "drunk tank" units to treat people who have had too much to drink.
Mad Friday is also sometimes known as Black Eye Friday, due to the above average number of fights that break out in bars and clubs.
In Newcastle, thousands went out to kick off the 2018 festivities - with many sporting some pretty incredible fancy dress outfits.
One group of women sported some striking Mrs Claus outfits, while another wore a Christmas jumper reading 'Tis the season to be trolllied'.
Many towns deploy 'Street Angels' to patrol streets on Mad Friday - helping those in need.
In Leeds, eight 'angels' patrol the streets, looking after the most vulnerable people falling out of the clubs and bars.
Going out every Friday and every two Saturdays since they started in 2012, the Leeds Street Angels have helped pull a drunk out of a freezing canal, foiled robberies and stopped women being taken off by men claiming to be their partners.
Volunteers get basic medical training, know how to treat acid attacks and have been taught what to do in a terror strike by the North East Counter Terrorism Unit.
Last year streets up and down the country were littered with revellers staggering on the arms of friends or slumped on the pavement.
The trustees, Katie, Jean and Paul would like to wish you a Merry Christmas. Many thanks for your support and prayers over 2018.
Tonight is Mad Friday (or Black Eye Friday) and many of our teams will be out and about for one of the busiest nights of the year. In the midst of the partying and chaos our teams will become the Christmas story in action - the story of God becoming one of us and moving into the neighbourhood!
To those out on the town tonight our teams will be a God-send as they partner with him to move into the neighbourhood of pubs, clubs and takeaways to demonstrate God's love as a reality. To the vulnerable, injured and hurting we will bring gifts of lollipops, water, foil blankets and first aid help. To the homeless we will point the way to winter shelters (and in some towns be the ones running the winter shelters) in the hope that there will be room at the inn! To those ending the night and wanting a journey home we will follow the Uber app to the safety and security of the cab. To the door-staff and emergency services some teams will be handing out chocolates and cake to help share the joy and love of Christ. Our Angelic hosts will change the story for people and communities as hospital and police station visits are prevented, aggression is calmed and the majority have a fun, happy and safe night out.
Christmas is about God moving into the neighbourhood - through the person of Jesus but also through those who commit to making the difference. Christmas is a demonstration of hope, love, joy, peace, forgiveness, acceptance and change and our street, club and festival teams continue making that demonstration a reality today and into 2019....
Tune in on BBC1 at 10am - 11am on Christmas Day (or watch on iPlayer)
VOLUNTEERS who spend their nights trying to make sure people get home safely after a night out are getting ready for their busiest time of year.
Durham StreetLights work around the year to try and make the city safer for people during nights out but will have extra volunteers out and about in the lead up to Christmas.
Howard Bray, the volunteer coordinator for Durham StreetLights, said: “December is one of the busiest times of the year as people head out on works night-outs or for a catch up with friends.
“Many of the people we see in December only go out on the town late at night once or twice a year and our volunteer team will be on hand to help ensure people have a fun and safe night.”
The team wears a distinctive uniform and will be out and about, carrying items like flip-flops, first aid and plasters for blistered feet and more serious injuries, as well as bottles of water to rehydrate people and warm blankets to stop people from suffering the effects of hypothermia.
The team is also on hand to help people relocate friends, recharge mobile phones and give directions to the next pub or club and locate a taxi to get people home safely.
They are also offering bits of advice to people to try and make sure people have a good time, from urging women who intend to wear high heels to carry flats so they do not end up going bare-foot, and encouraging people to know their drinking limits and to eat enough prior to going out.
Durham StreetLights is a joint initiative between churches in the city. Usually about three volunteers head out in Durham every Saturday night between 10pm and 3am, which increases to five or six in the lead up to Christmas.
Volunteers are trained and available to assist people, offering practical and emotional support to people in need.
Mr Bray added: “We’re out 52 weeks a year but the run up to Christmas is always quite busy.
“We are all Christians - the idea is we show Jesus’ love in the street and he will be doing the same.”
For more information on the work of Durham StreetLights visit www.durhamstreetlights.org.uk or call 0191-303-8623.
Paul Blakey, the CEO of CNI Network was part of delivering 11 lessons reaching over 200 Year 12 and 13 students in a Halifax high school. Working with Christians in Calderdale School the lessons looked at Alcohol and Safety alongside the story and work of Street Angels and Festival Angels. You can download the Alcohol and Safety education resource here.
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