Pastors brave the autumn chill to keep revellers safe in Midsomer Norton
Volunteers from local churches have spent their first weekend lending a helping hand and listening ear to revellers enjoying a night out in Midsomer Norton.
Pub and club-goers gave the team a warm welcome as the town's new nighttime guardians braved the blustery autumn weather for five hours each night.
Julian Sheppard, who is coordinating the new Christian scheme, said: "Friday night was quieter but on Saturday there were quite a few people needing our attention."
Mr Sheppard praised the initiative and other schemes which have been recently introduced in the town to tackle antisocial drinking and behaviour, including a street drinking ban and street marshals.
FREE WHEATGERM WITH EVERY POND HEATER www.blagdon-water-gardens.c...View details
Protect your pond fish this winter. Purchase the resun 100w pond heater £39.99 from www.blagdon-water-gardens.co.uk and we will give you a pot of Tetra wheatgerm 1l winter fishfood worth £4.99 FREE
Contact: 01934 316673
Valid until: Friday, February 28 2014
He added: "We now no longer have the problems with smashed glass. We found just two glasses on a fence which is great as the less glass left lying around the better.
"I am convinced that we have done the right thing. On the first night there were a few people who viewed us with a little bit of suspicion but on Saturday there was some really good reaction from people who could understand what we were doing and why."
Mr Sheppard said there had also been a positive reaction from most venues, many of which were visited by the pastors during the course of the weekend.
Street Pastors is an international initiative which started ten years ago in London. The local scheme has been set up by a network of churches. Pastors work in teams of three and help people by giving them water, flip-flops, sweets or just a friendly ear to listen.
Every Friday and Saturday night the pastors, who wear blue uniforms and caps to make them easily identifiable, will be in the town centre between 10pm and 3am.
MP Jacob Rees-Mogg also joined the team on Friday.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: "This is an inspiring initiative. It is the local community at its best. We all stand in awe of their dedication and training, and wish them every success."