Until I joined the Bath City Pastors as an observer one Saturday night in June 2023, I had no idea about the night life in Bath – busy night clubs with queues out on the pavement and burly doormen, hen parties, rough sleepers in doorways, inebriated young people weaving their way along the streets. My interest in becoming a BCP was sparked by a member of the church I attend who was one. I contacted the Coordinator and received a friendly and encouraging response back – hence my first observer shift. In due time this was followed by a second plus a training morning and references, before I did my first shift as a fully-fledged BCP in September 2023.
The BCP team wear bright yellow anoraks and set out, after a short time of prayer together, with rucksacks on their backs filled with a range of items from blankets and socks to hot drinks and snacks plus a dustpan and brush to sweep up any broken glass on the pavement. They stroll along the streets of Bath offering
practical help like flip flops to those teetering on high heels, hot drinks to rough sleepers, pointing the way to the university bus stop for students in their first year. They also have informal chats with those they meet along the way and provide a listening ear when appropriate. At times there is a pause for quiet prayer,
standing together, for a particular situation such as news of a fight somewhere in the city, or a missing person. The BCP shift ends at 3am with closing prayer for the encounters made during the night.
For me, BCP is about bringing Jesus’ presence to all those out in the streets in the early hours of Sunday morning in both practical ways and underpinning all that is done with prayer.