About

Introducing Bedford Street Angels

Bedford Street Angels was born out of the tragic death of a young man, Robert Gill who died as a result of a mugging and murder on Boxing Day 2007. It was his adoptive parents, Fred and Fran who asked the churches of the town to explore the possibility of forming a Street Angels project to support the vulnerable who access the night time economy to ensure there is no similar tragedy. Bedford Street Angels has been in operation since its launch in February 2009. The project is supported by churches from the Bedford area.

Our aims are similar to existing Street Angel and Street Pastor schemes, of which Portsmouth and Halifax are good examples. Our common aim is to provide unconditional, non-judgemental support and practical help to those who have become vulnerable to crime or distress. It uses the biblical example of the Good Samaritan on which to mould it’s values. There are well over a hundred such schemes across the towns and cities of the UK. All of them have teams of volunteers from local churches and have seen success in reducing violence, antisocial behaviour and fear of crime in their communities.

As an organisation, we aim to provide teams of Christians to be available to everyone using the night clubs and other entertainments in Bedford Town Centre on weekend nights. This is done as an expression of Christian faith; partnering with God in prayer and action adds a dimension that sees communities and people transformed. God is far too big to be kept in a church building – as Christians we have chosen to live a life that seeks to make a difference – for the better. That difference needs to be made in the places where people are.

The Lord’s Prayer says “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven” – every time that prayer is said we are asking God to bring his kingdom of love, peace, hope and life – in fact everything that is good – to our communities. How does God do that? Through us, people committed to making a difference!

Bedford Street Angels runs each Saturday evening from 10.00pm – 3.00am throughout the year as well as supporting extra events throughout the year. We work very much in partnership with the Bed:safe Scheme which encompasses Bedford Borough Council, Bedfordshire Police, Taxi Marshalls, Pubs and Clubs and many other agencies.

The Street Angels objectives would not have been achieved without the fantastic team of volunteers - many of whom commit week after week showing care and love to people in their time of need.

Why do it?

It’s after 2.00am, freezing cold, and Bedford Street Angels are still out. Why do we do it?!

It’s because we care and want to make a difference. The Board of Trustees, committee members and all volunteers of the Street Angels are Christians who believe that our faith involves serving our community. Partnering with God in prayer and action adds a dimension that sees communities and people transformed. God is far too big to be kept in a church building – as Christians we have chosen to live a life that seeks to make a difference – for the better. That difference needs to be made in the places where people are.

VOLUNTEER WITH US

Our Volunteers

The volunteers don't wear wings or have halos, but a group of Street Angels are helping to reduce violent crime in Bedford town centre. In their distinctive red fleece, they set out in teams of three to patrol along a wide area focusing on the town centre. More often than not, the Street Angels are available to help people, especially the vulnerable; those who may have become isolated from their friends, are on their own waiting for their lift home to arrive, need direction to locate taxi ranks or cash machines. But the Street Angels are also on hand to help those who have had too much to drink, or wait with folk needing a paramedic. Volunteers undergo a comprehensive training programme which should equip them to respond to all sorts of situations in the late night environment. Volunteers must be age 18 or over but there is no upper age limit. For churches, this is a great opportunity to put Christian faith into practice in our local communities. By working together across denominational groupings, we can demonstrate our shared desire to make a difference in our locality.

Mission Statement

We obey the two Great Commandments to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind” and to “Love your neighbour as yourself”. We also seek to put into practice Jesus’ teaching in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

We provide mixed teams of Christians of all ages, to be available to everyone using the night clubs and other entertainment facilities in Bedford Town Centre on Saturday nights, and at other times.

Our volunteers are nominated by local churches that may or may not be members of Bedford Street Angels.

Our membership is comprised of individual local churches that elect Trustees from time to time.

Our day-to-day management is delegated to a Management Committee of Trustees and other volunteers.

We work in co-operation with Bed:Safe and are a member of its Steering Committee. Bed:Safe is an initiative of Bedford Borough Council that brings together police, night club operators, door supervisors and taxi marshals and seeks to keep the town centre safe for people using pubs and clubs at night.

We have adopted the Faithworks Charter and abide by its principles in our dealings with all individuals and organisations in the course of our work.

Governance

As a company limited by guarantee, Bedford Street Angels has governing documents that specify our purpose and how we must operate.

These documents are available for download here:

Mission Statement
Summarises our motives and methods, as quoted above.

Articles of Association
Founding legal document for the company.

Additional Bye Laws and Rules
Rules for members, trustees, meetings and committees additional to the Articles of Association.

Church Membership Application Form
Application form for Churches to become members of BSA. This form is to be printed, filled in and posted to the address on the form.