The work of Dundee Street and Club Chaplains and CNI Network is featured in the new edition of Scottish Christian Broadcast, 17,000 magazines distributed across Scotland. If you are interested in starting Street Chaplains in your community do contact us or see this web page for details.
Reflections from a Student Street Chaplain:
As a student in Dundee I haven’t long been a member of Street chaplains, and saying that not terribly old in my Christian life either. But since joining in 2011 there has been nothing but spiritual growth in my life. Having only really committed to Christ about two years prior I was thrown immediately into the deep end when a couple of my closest friends dragged me along one evening to take part. Seeing the streets from the perspective of the one “out” for a good time and seeing the streets as the one “looking out” for others having a good time are two very different situations. As a street chaplain I had to learn to observe the folk coming and going about the clubs. Keeping an eye on those who were drunk, those who were vulnerable, those who were injured and ministering Gods word to any and all you would listen. We go out onto the streets with resources like water, flip flops, rape alarms, ponchos, bandages, hot drinks, leaflets and lollies etc, all so we could show the love of God in a practical and visible way to those at night.
However it didn’t take me long out on the streets to realise when we talked with people how hopeless I was at answering peoples questions with a Biblical answer. Quite often I’d normally keep my mouth shut and let the other team members lead the discussion while praying that the person did not turn to me and ask for my opinion (which they normally did). Faced with the contentious issues that many people tend to have with the Bible and God, to continue taking part in this mission that I truly loved to do, I had no other choice than to expand my knowledge on topics and areas of scripture that I may not have fully thought about before.
Three years on and I no longer hide behind the coats of the other members of the team but rather seeks to be the first to engage with someone when the topic of God and Christ arises. And not even because I feel like I have to, but by having filled myself with more of God’s word I have come to realise just how joyful and powerful it really is and the more you understand that the more you “want” to share. After three years I have helped countless people on the streets of Dundee and shared the Gospel with many many more. A minister once described street chaplains as being the sowers of the vineyard, scattering seed over all kinds of ground. I often ponder what God has done in the lives of the people I have talked to on the street. Being a front line ministry it is very rare to see the fruits of our labour, but we continue to plant God’s word wherever we can in the hope that he will use it for his glory.
David Church. Student Street Chaplain leader.
As we think about Easter and all that goes along with it I was challenged by an article in the Daily Telegraph this past week. The report was talking about Christ, Christianity and the TV show "Rev". The heading caught my attention. It said:
“Sorry, Rev, but Christianity isn't just about being nice to people”.
This led me to ask myself the question. “Why do we have Street Chaplains”?
My answer was to reach those who don't yet know the love of God and to tell them of a Saviour who died for them.
Since Christmas we have been “nice people” on the streets of Dundee and Broughtyferry. We have chatted to people, helped people into taxies, broken up fights, and talked to door staff. However our aim has and is always to share the gospel with them.
In February we gave out five hundred pancakes on Pancake Tuesday and we had many great in-depth conversations about the Lord Jesus.
St Patricks day was a big outreach for Street Chaplains as we teamed up with Dundee University Christian Union and gave out green lollies. Once again we had many deep discussions about the true meaning of life and the way of salvation.
Street Chaplains have been on the streets of Dundee city centre weekly since Christmas in all weathers (and thank God for the lack of snow and really cold nights this winter!) sharing the good news of the gospel with people and workers in the night-time economy.
In the middle of January one of our Street Chaplains was going to the church office in Broughtyferry to meet up with other Street Chaplains - on the way they came across a lady who was in the last moments of throwing herself off a railway bridge. Thankfully our Street Chaplain talked with her and persuaded her to come of the bridge. They contacted her family and got the lady to safety. We continue to pray for her that God will touch her troubled life and bring her to Himself.
We could go on, but what of the future. Over the page is our prayer vision of all we hope to do in Gods will in the coming summer. Please pray for us - thank you once again for supporting us in this ministry.
I finish with another quote for the Daily Telegraph article:
“Helping the poor or the sick is not simply an act of humanity, it’s an act of faith. It’s also an act of witness – a way of showing the world the reality of Christ’s love in the hope that more people will accept him as their Saviour."
Have a blessed Easter...
Yours in Christ.
Some interesting links from the CNI Network blog:
CNI Network March Newsletter
From drug dealer to Street Angel
A Royal Hangover
Wash My Pink Jumper Press Release – 03/02/2014 – Neknominate
Concerns over the latest internet craze “Neknominate” have been proven correct this week as a second young man loses his life in relation to the drinking game. Dublin DJ Ross Cummins was found unconscious in a house in Dublin city centre in the early hours of Monday morning, Ross was taken to hospital and pronounced dead shortly afterwards. Now police are investigating the death of Jonny Byrne whose body was recovered for the River Barrow in Co Carlow earlier this morning, they suspect Jonny’s death was also in relation to the Neknomination craze. Jonny’s brother Patrick is appealing for people to stop taking part in Neknominate before any more people are injured or killed as a result of the ‘game’.
The Neknominate trend (originally known as “Neck and Nominate”) started in the UK in early January 2014 and has spread across the world, and had a strong impact in Australia and New Zealand where it reached high popularity and it’s echo reignited the impact of the neknominate trend in the UK and Ireland. The aim is to record a video of yourself “necking” a drink and then nominating others (usually 2 friends) to do the same. In an attempt to compete with previous videos, new nominees are drinking more and stronger drinks in more and more dangerous locations. Videos have been posted of young men and women drinking beer from toilet bowls, drinking their own urine and downing drinks in freezing conditions with very little protection from the elements.
While some people are using this craze to try and make a difference, these are in the minority. One video has been posted of a young man in South Africa using his nomination to donate food to people in need instead of drinking alcohol for the entertainment, and encouraging and nominating others to do the same. There are also images posted of people using this as a nomination to donate blood at blood drives and to blood banks and again encouraging and nominating others to do the same thing. Unfortunately people trying to turn this trend into a positive are few and far between compared to the number putting themselves at risk and encouraging drinking to dangerous extents. Celebrities including New Zealand All Black star Steven Luatua has also taken part, although the sports star later apologised, the original video has been widely viewed and inspired many to take part.
The neknominate craze has reached large volumes of people with the largest facebook page having over 33,000 likes and nearly 50,000 likes spread across other neknominate facebook pages. The popularity is also seen in the number of twitter posts including #neknominate and requests to be nominated, and at time of writing nearly 6,500 neknominate videos on youtube.
Many alcohol action groups across Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland have condemned the craze as dangerous and are encouraging individuals to not become involved and not give in to the peer pressure to create a video if they are nominated. Neknominate has already led to a spin off craze Skidnominate, where people are encouraged to record themselves skidding a car and then nominate 2 others to do the same and post the link to their facebook page (which already has nearly 12,000 likes).
Wash My Pink Jumper is a registered charity helping young women trapped in binge drinking. We do this through mentors, known as “Big Sisters”, who provide support and encouragement for young women who have decided living is more important than drinking.
Welcome to the Dundee Street Chaplains and Club Chaplains new website.
Some blogs from CNI Network blog about us:
Angels joined by Angels?
Press Release - Club Chaplains in one of Dundee's busiest Nightclubs
Update from Dundee Street Chaplains
A Street Chaplain walks into a strip club....
ROCK Street chaplains
This blog will keep you updated with the latest from the work and ministry of ROCK Street, Club, and Festival Chaplains.