This was one of the shortest books we have looked at, but it generated a lot of discussion. It described the very practical work of the volunteers who went out at night to offer support and love to any who were vulnerable due to alcohol, separation from friends, unsuitable footwear, etc. We all felt that the work was greatly valuable and that the street angels were trying to carry on with the caring work of Jesus in a brave and committed way.
After a brief history of the group in Halifax, there were many reports of the ideas being taken up and successfully carried out across the country. Several group members did not read all the short reports as they were very repetitive.
It seemed that provision of a "safe place", where people could wait safely for taxis & lost friends, was crucial. We also noted the relationships Angels were able to build up with club doormen as being valuable.
Ann stressed the importance of the non-judgemental attitude of the Angels and of the ease with which they struck up conversations. We also noted the very many different agencies that cooperated; police, local authority etc. Ken remarked that, although initially people expressed fear, they dealt with this by getting involved and not staying away and finding that the fears proved largely groundless.
It seemed that the angels succeeded in making their town centres safer and calmer. Some of us were mildly uncomfortable with the naivety of the theology expressed by some reports, particularly in respect of the ability of prayer to help find lost gloves, but prayer was obviously supportive of the work and the people involved in it.
We finished our session in responding to the book's challenge by thinking about the outreach we should be making in Aylesbury and our own communities.
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