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Kettering Street Pastors

Volume 559: debated on Thursday 7 March 2013

The Church of England provides national financial support to a number of street pastor groups around the country through the church and community funds. As many Members will know, the street pastors initiative is an independent and ecumenical initiative with some 200 groups across the country.

Kettering is the nightclub capital of north Northamptonshire. Into that fray, every Saturday night and Sunday morning, between the hours of 11 pm and 3 am, the Kettering street pastors, led by their inspirational co-ordinator, Fiona de Boltz, send out six to 10 volunteers to offer faith-based reassurance, comfort and guidance, as well as practical assistance to vulnerable young people. Will my hon. Friend agree to visit Kettering to see the good work they do?

It goes without saying that I would be extremely happy to go with my hon. Friend one Saturday night and see the work of the Kettering street pastors. Street pastors across the country do invaluable work in helping, caring and listening, and making our streets safer at nights and weekends.

It is an outrageous slur from my hon. Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr Hollobone) to say that Kettering is the nightclub capital of north Northamptonshire when everybody knows it is Wellingborough and Rushden. Street pastors in my area do a tremendous job, in particular the Full Gospel church in Rushden, which has led the way with a homeless shelter. Does my hon. Friend the Second Church Estates Commissioner agree?

On my way to Kettering, I promise and undertake to call on my hon. Friend’s constituency and witness the work of the street pastors there as well.