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February 3, 2014
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Street Pastors Jamaica programme launched

Antigua-born, UK-based clergyman Reverend Les Isaac - founder of the Street Pastors UK social intervention programme with 11,000 Christian volunteers - officially launched a local affiliate on Friday at the Webster Memorial United Church, Kingston.

Participating in the launch were more than 25 leaders of various local denominations who have committed to collaborating on the Street Pastors Jamaica programme, which is a faith-based initiative being coordinated and led by Operation Save Jamaica.

Initially, the programme will see Christian volunteers on the streets in Half-Way Tree and its environs every Friday, from 8 p.m. to midnight, to provide listening ears; guidance and advice; emotional support and prayer to the homeless, drug addicts, prostitutes and those possibly involved in crime and violence.

Rev Isaac - who has been recognised by the Queen of England with an Order of the British Empire for his outstanding community involvement in the UK - told the gathering that he was influenced to start Street Pastors UK in 2003 after visiting Trench Town, Kingston. During that visit, he was impressed by the collaborative programme being carried out by several local church leaders on the streets of Trench Town to positively impact the lives of the residents and he wanted to do the same in the UK.

consistency

"The government cannot solve the problems of the nation, neither can each church do so on its own. By coming together, we will be able to maintain continuity and consistency in the services we offer as messengers of God and be an example to those we serve as persons who are reliable and trustworthy," he said.

Minister of National Security Peter Bunting said he was excited about the launch of Street Pastors, which he learnt about last June. "I kept talking about this initiative so much that persons thought it was my project," he said.

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