Tonight supporters of ROCK Street Chaplains from all areas of the country met together for an hour of prayer during what is our Week of Prayer for Street Chaplains' ministry. It was wonderful to hear from the areas represented; Dundee, Montrose, Lurgan, and Newcastle.
This week has been dedicated as our Week of Prayer for Street Chaplains. Each day we will post a prayer card with a different theme on our Facebook page.
Below are all our prayer cards. Feel free to use these to pray for us anytime.
Dundee Street Chaplains restarted at the end of July after a four-month break. We are still operating every Friday and Saturday night and having good chats.
We thought we'd use this update to share how we are currently operating:
We have divided the chaplains up into two different teams/bubbles to minimise cross-contact between chaplains. Usually, Team 1 operates on Friday nights and Team 2 operates on Saturday nights. Chaplains at risk are advised to stay at home. Every other Tuesday we then meet together on Zoom to plan & pray.
In recent weeks, we have been going out earlier due to pubs closing earlier. Usually 8-11pm
Volunteers have been provided with a Covid-19 policy and have been provided with hand sanitisers and reusable and disposal masks.
We have curtailed our supplies being given out (bottles, flipflops, etc) unless deemed essential and we have temporarily ceased giving out hot drinks to the homeless. Leaflets and lollies are kept in a secure container for a week and hand sanitiser is used by chaplains before being handed out if it is appropriate to do so.
During this time many people are seeking God and we continue to chat with members of the public while maintaining social distancing. Volunteers are being recommended to use a contact tracing app. Report forms are filled in detailing our activities each night.
We are reassessing our practise on a weekly basis.
Please pray that our ministry would continue to be reach the people of Dundee wisely.
Thank you to those who donated to our hand sanitiser appeal for the homeless during this pandemic when hand sanitiser has been hard to obtain for many people, especially the homeless. We made the bottles up ourselves and included a verse on the labels (Ps 51:10).
It was great for some of us in the Dundee team to meet together online for the first time since the lockdown suddenly took us off the streets last month.
It was a good time of fellowship and discussion. Please pray for guidance amidst the uncertainty that is likely to see the team off the streets for many months to come. Social spaces like pubs & clubs will struggle to open for quite a while, especially as students are not likely to return to the city until probably next year, making it harder to reach people. It was encouraging, however, to hear how everyone is still finding unique ways wherever they are in ‘Reaching Out to make Christ Known’.
The Times newspaper recently joined us on the streets to investigate Dundee's enduring drugs crisis. Sadly we have seen to many of our guys die in the last few years in particular. Let's hope by highlighting the problem, it will bring meaningful change. (click on the picture below to read the full article and then zoom in).
Read article online: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dundee-drugs-death-capital-scotland-ddlzpgnjh
ROCK STREET CHAPLAINS
www.dundeechaplains.org.uk | Facebook: ROCKStreetChaplains
CHISTMAS PRAYER LETTER 2019
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Thank you for your continued prayer and support for ROCK Street, Club, & Festival Chaplains. It's hard to believe we are at the end of another year which is a reminder of how short life is. This prayer letter contains reports from all of the team leaders in our areas of ministry. We hope you will continue to pray and support us.
Dundee Street Chaplains
This year in Dundee, the work of Nightclub Outreach has carried on in good health and has continued to grow. One piece of bad news is that we saw our work inside the nightclubs come to a stop as Industry Nightclub in Dundee shutdown this year and we ask that you pray for new opportunities to start this up again.
Each weekend we continue to go out with hot drinks and food for the homeless in Dundee. We have recently been kindly donated blankets which we have been handing out as needed and are now preparing Christmas gift bags including hats, gloves, and hygiene products for them as we did last year. We ask you to pray for the salvation of those we meet, for chances to help many get into rehab and a more stable life.
We are out every Friday and Saturday. We head out with lollies and tracts to tell people the gospel, and we give out bottles of water, flip-flops and ponchos for those who need them. We have had loads of good conversations with people and have given out gospels and bibles to many and invited some to Alpha Courses and to have further conversations with us by phone or in person.
We have added some new members to our team this year and we want to ask you to pray for them, and for new team members to join us. We also ask you to pray for our experienced members’ health and that their passion for the gospel and for the people of Dundee would grow.
This year we attended the Montrose Festival and with the opening of Slessor Gardens, we have had some more outreach opportunities at festivals here in Dundee, handing out bottles of water and sometimes ponchos and speaking to some of the attendees about God.
Our main prayer request is for people we've met this year, either just once or almost every week, to come to salvation.
Nathan Peters – ROCK Homeless Outreach Co-ordinator, Dundee
Montrose Festival Chaplains (Mofest)
No MoFest this year but LCC organised three Live at the Links events in August for Montrose: Kaiser Chiefs, Jess Glynne and Madness. LCC were keen to have us on board and we were able to set up our gazebo on site for all three. A team of 12 from Montrose and Dundee churches covered the events, some on their first outing. Numerous good conversations were held at all three concerts and, situated beside the St Andrew’s and SAS (the Scottish Ambulance Service, not the para regiment) ambulances, there was a one-stop-shop for all injuries and ails!
Working with the site security teams, everyone felt safe across the whole site and good relationships were built. More than one member of the bar staff came across for a conversation and one is now a regular at a local church in Montrose! Several security staff commented that they would be happy if chaplain teams were present at all their events.
To try and reduce the amount of plastic used, the organisers had encouraged folk to bring along their own water bottles to fill up locally. Unfortunately, the water supply arrangement didn’t work out and our base became the main watering hole and people were directed to us for their top-ups. One more way the chaplains became an integral part of the overall event – and presented even more opportunities to meet folks.
Over the three evenings, we managed to give away about 12kg of assorted lollies (now looking for sponsorship from local dentists)!!! Seriously, everyone seemed happy to speak to these strange folks in bright red jackets. Here’s to more events in 2020…
Steve Coles – Montrose Festival Chaplains.
Newcastle Street Chaplains
We are made up of Christians from local churches. We meet at the Elim Church at around 12.15am on a Sunday morning. We pray together for help and protection before we head out onto the street. Setting up the marquee just opposite the main night club in Newcastle we get ready for the young people to come out anytime around 1.30am. We offer tea or coffee with biscuits which they love getting. We also give out bottles of water, all of which is greatly appreciated.
In the cold winter months, we supply foil blankets if needed also to help girls particularly to keep warm. One night we had a girl who was extremely cold and she came and sat in the back of the van, but couldn’t get warmed up. We got a foil blanket wrapped around her and she was in a bad way. She took a panic attack and one of the girls on the team had to help her with her breathing. She was a local girl and we knew her so we were able to leave her home. We are getting to build great relationships with the young people and they come over to us for a cuppa and a chat. A few have said that this is their highlight of the night to come to us. As we get to know these wonderful young people we have had the pleasure to be able to talk to them about spiritual matters. Others just want to get advice or chat about work, their life and family matters.
This is proclaiming and demonstrating the kingdom of God through word and action. So as we are on the streets of Newcastle (Co Down), we are filled with compassion and love for many who don’t know our ‘faithful and wonderful’ Saviour and we pray for opportunities to tell them about Him. We also have a sense of urgency in our hearts as one day Jesus will return. Revelation 22:20 “yes I am coming soon” So let’s keep serving, keep praying, until God says it is time. Unfortunately, we are not able to be out every week as we would want to be. The team is small and many of us have other commitments. This is something we need prayer for that others would get involved, even if folk could commit just once a month. The need is great but the labourers are few! So please pray that others would grasp the vision and if anyone would like to come out with us on a trial night please feel free to do that.
Sylvia Turner – Newcastle Street Chaplains
Lurgan Street Chaplains
What can I say about William Street, Lurgan in 2019? God is at Work! The Holy Spirit convicting, hearts are being challenged and people are talking.
Praise God! Oh and the enemy is not happy! (Always a good sign.) It's such a privilege to work with a great bunch of folks who have a heart for God and a heart for lost sinners. To stand in the gap and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ at 2am is no easy task. But God is with us! As we continue to serve tea and coffee, give out flip flops and hand out gospel tracts we have encountered many people willing to listen and willing to talk, people who have never heard about being ‘born again’ or that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
People's stories of pain and hurt and feeling there is no hope for their future, we are able to offer them a most abundant future through the finished work of the cross. We have spoken to atheists, agnostics and backsliders but praise God we've known the help of the Holy Spirit in our conversations. Should we never see any conversions our prayer is that seeds would be sown, hearts would be changed and that people would come to repentance and faith alone in Christ.
Please pray for our protection and our families as the Devil seeks to devour and disrupt all that is done for Christ.
David Seifert – Lurgan. ROCK Street Chaplains.
ROCK Publications update
At the heart of ROCK Street Chaplains, is a passion to get the gospel message out there and the distribution of engaging Christian material is central to that. Our team of volunteers regularly meet up to chat about our outreach experiences, what people are asking and are struggling with. From that we’ve found that designing our own leaflets has worked really well.
This year we reprinted a few of the tracts we felt were successful from last year. We also designed a new tract this year which lists ‘40 Reasons for God’ to give to those more intellectually inquisitive. We have printed a QR code on all of our new leaflets now so that further enquiry about faith can be made on our website using their phone.
We also launched a fresh new website in September as our old one was very out dated. Check it out! Our new website reflects the expansion that ROCK has seen in the last few years in particular and the changing roles within the team. We believe that with young people increasingly turning to the internet for answers about Christianity and to even find out more about us, we need to have a better online presence that can engage with them.
Despite still being a popular resource, especially for new students, our Dundee Church Guide is now over 4yrs out of date and so we will be looking to update this leaflet in the coming year. Perhaps you could sponsor a box of leaflets for this.
In January of this year, we had a great opportunity to showcase the work of Street Chaplains when our founder and co-ordinator Mr Andrew Robert Burns BEM was awarded in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. I’d like to congratulate Andy on his great work in Dundee! Those who’ve met him recently will know how chuffed he was to receive his British medal from the monarch. From a publicity point of view, the upsurge of public interest in Street Chaplains after Andy’s award was enormous; from newspapers and radio stations in Dundee, Co Down and Lurgan to social media all sharing his story and, importantly, sharing the work of Street Chaplains. (Click ‘Media’ on our website)
Finally, this coming year, ROCK Street Chaplains will celebrate its 20th anniversary and we have already started to plan for a thanksgiving event, hopefully in early Autumn. It will be the first time we have properly had an event to celebrate a milestone for our ministry. Please pray that planning would go smoothly and that the churches and volunteers that have partnered with us over the decades would take part as we thank God for 20yrs of witness in Dundee’s night-time economy, and that from the occasion there would be a new leash of life for our ministry.
Callum Bowsie – ROCK Publications co-ordinator
May you all have a blessed Christmas and know God’s blessing in 2019.
Yours in Christ
Andy and Marina Burns
Bank Details: Urban Impact Christian Ministries. Royal Bank of Scotland.
Sort-code 83-5000 Account Number 10308447
Montrose Festival this year has been mad. We had some great chats with people. Mostly an older crowd but still open to talk about spiritual things. Thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers!
ROCK Street chaplains
This blog will keep you updated with the latest from the work and ministry of ROCK Street, Club, and Festival Chaplains.