Take hope to the streets and pray for the police. That’s the message to churches from Police chief Matt Baggott, a key supporter of the national Hope initiative.
Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Matt Baggott, gave Hope Together an exclusive interview – coincidentally, just after student riots first hit London. At the time he was speaking at The Mandate in Belfast, one of Europe's biggest men's conferences.
‘Pray for your police,’ he said. ‘Get to know them. Pray they’ll do a great job. Pray they’re protected – and pray that policing itself makes a huge difference. Then I think we’ll see – as we saw through Hope 08 – a great transformation taking place.’
Previously among a number of national figures who endorsed Hope 08, Matt is now supporting this new four-year initiative encouraging churches to do mission together in words and actions. ‘Churches need to get practical – and get together,’ he said.
Speaking just after an interview with BBC Ireland Correspondent Mark Simpson at The Mandate, Matt advised Hope participants to ask the question, ‘where is there a need?’
That could be working with a movement like Street Pastors on a Friday or Saturday night – or in areas where people are growing up ‘in an environment that needs to be reshaped’, said the Chief. ‘Think about how you can be kind without agenda, and start with those very practical things people can do together.’
A short video message from Matt
can be viewed now. An interview with him is to appear in the March/April edition of Sorted Magazine.
Hope, launched in July 2010, is the national continuation from Hope 08. It exists to equip and support the local church to speak and live its mission, changing individuals and transforming communities with the Gospel. Hope will highlight key calendar opportunities for outreach over the next four years, building towards an all-out year of mission in 2014. www.hopetogether.org.uk