Churches working with police to meet local needs
Police Inspector Marie Reavey serves in the Norfolk Constabulary, and chairs the Christian Police Association (CPA). Here she shares about the exciting opportunities for churches and police to partner together in their communities…
The concept of churches working together and supporting the police to help reduce demand and make their communities safer isn’t new. Across the country, churches have worked together for many years delivering Street Angels/Street Pastors, making places safer at night by praying for problems that are bubbling, looking out for vulnerable people and even defusing tense situations. This is probably the most well know example of Churches working together for the good of their community, but there are many more; food banks and winter night shelters are just a couple of examples of churches pooling resources to meet a need.
Jesus wants His Church functioning properly to see His Kingdom come in your community. In Ephesians 4:4 we read that there is one body and one Spirit. In Romans 12:4-5 we are reminded that we are one body in Christ, but the many members have different functions. When we work together, each using our strengths (function) to complement each other, we can achieve so much more and His Kingdom will come.
#FaithAndPolice Together launched in April 2018, and in September 2018 I was seconded to work on this national initiative. I’ve had the opportunity of speaking with and visiting a variety of projects and initiatives across the country who are working to tackle issues of addiction, youth violence, loneliness and homelessness in their communities.
One of these initiatives is Route 2 Freedom, a small charity which has recently been set up in Ipswich, where five churches in the town are working together to help tackle addiction. Although it is in the early stages, they are already making a difference to individuals in the town who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. A video about Route 2 Freedom’s story is available here.
Faith and Police Together look to develop the collaboration between churches and the police further. We are encouraging churches to:
think more strategically about the issues and problems in their community, by engaging with their local police and statutory agencies to find out what the real needs are, which are often hidden.
be praying for those issues and asking God to show them what their part is in helping to tackle them, making sure that our valuable resources and time are used in the most effective and productive way. Do you know how to be praying for the problems and needs in your community?
Additionally, I have been encouraging the police and statutory agencies to think differently about their local churches; to see them as potential partners at the partnership table when looking to tackle some of the key issues and problems in their communities.
Our new Faith Communities Guide to Engaging with Police is full of ideas, project and case studies to help you engage better with your police, or get more involved in tackling addiction, youth violence, loneliness, homelessness and more.
To download the guide and find out more, visit www.faithandpolicetogether.org.uk
To connect with your local Christian Police, visit www.cpauk.net and become a friend of CPA.