Feedback for Fishponds Patrol
It was good to be out Prayer Patrolling on the streets of Bristol again, especially as we were going to be in Fishponds, an area that we had not prayer patrolled before. This is a very popular shopping area consisting of the usual Post Office, banks, supermarkets, retail shops and general stores, small local enterprises, schools, churches, bingo hall, public houses, car showrooms, and a thriving convenient bus route into City Centre, train and bus stations.
So, it was a big shock to us, as well as for the residents of the Fishponds area, a couple of weeks prior to our patrol, to learn that a young 10-year boy was viciously attacked by thugs as he walked home. The boy suffered grievous injuries to his head and body after he was beaten up and thrown to the ground, and kicked many times. The thugs then ran off and left him there until a passer-by came along and found him bloodied, lying on the pavement only a couple of yards away from the main traffic light and pedestrian crossing. [*See Newspaper report on this story at the end of our reports]
It was a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon but we were determined to bring the warmth of our prayers and goodwill to the streets of Fishponds. We felt that Prayer Patrol would serve as a timely crime prevention tool and a good way to help re-boost morale and confidence on the streets. It was a very interesting and well-received Patrol. Several Passersby stopped and engaged at our Prayer Stops, where our two youngest patrollers, ages four and five, along with older members of the team prayed with them. Many people told us that they were moved by the braveness and prayers of the children. One man was so moved that he ran across the road to the Bakery and came back laden with cakes for them.
It appears that the incident with the boy was a one off, the perpetrators were caught, and the attack is in no way a reflection of this usually peaceful, contemporary area of Bristol.
Report by Rev palmer, October 2016
Feedback for Easton & Old Market Patrol
It had just started to rain as we headed out for the Easton and Old Market Prayer Patrol, but our spirit was high. It has been a while since we did patrols on this particular route. The streets were exceptionally quiet, perhaps because it had been raining on and off during the afternoon.
Our starting point for the Easton Patrol was St Marks Church which is next door to Sugar the Loaf Pub. The church was closed and not one church member in sight, but the pub was open and three men sat outside having a drink in the drizzling rain. At first, they were intrigued with our high viz jackets and then became even more interested when we told them that we were out Peace-Keeping and blessing the area. The rain continued to fall, becoming heavier as we went along, soon there was no sign of anyone walking the streets, so we decided to take a shortened route back to the base.
Nearing the Three Black Birds Pub we noticed a man standing in the doorway, drinking a beer and enjoying a cigarette. As we got to him we did our usual greeting and he responded cheerfully and wanted to engage us in conversation, he also had a prayer request, which we told him we would pray about once we got back to base. But as we were moving away he called out “Please. Please, Please remember to pray”, it was urgent and we did.
Our final prayer stop was at a newly opened Resturant in the area. The owner welcomed our prayer for his new business, and even offered to feed us, and although the food smelt lovely and the atmosphere inviting but we had to decline his offer as we were still on duty.
This was one of our shortest ever patrols owing to weather conditions, and we finished soaked but greatly inspired.
Report by Rev Palmer, November 2016