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Knife threat, arguments and partying: Our night out with town pastors

PUBLISHED: 10:42 23 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:49 24 December 2018

A town pastor with revellers in Ipswich town centre. Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

A town pastor with revellers in Ipswich town centre. Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

Keith Mindham

We joined the Ipswich town pastors as they faced one of the busiest nights of the year - the last Saturday before Christmas.

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The weekend before the big day is known for its large number of Christmas parties and those socialising until the early hours as they celebrate clocking off for the festive season.

Many people will now be on holiday through to the New Year and were starting their celebrations last night with a trip to the bars and pubs.

Some had been paid yesterday as a number of companies delivered their December wages early, meaning the town was busier than usual.

The pressure on police and the ambulance service was expected to increase across the weekend – with town pastors on duty to help keep revellers safe throughout.

The group of pastors are all volunteer members of the church who offer practical help in a non-judgemental and unconditional way.

They seek to be a positive influence on the streets of the town centre, especially on the busiest nights of the year.

We were out from 9.30pm on Saturday night until the early hours of the morning to see first-hand what the street pastors come across on a weekly basis.

Reporter Sophie Barnett was tweeting live updates throughout to give an insight to the late night scenes.

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