Jamaican pastors to tour UK helping churches change their communities
Two pastors from Kingston, Jamaica, arrive in the UK next week for a tour of churches, sharing lessons from social action in their communities ...
Pastors Bruce Fletcher (below) and Bobby Wilmot (right) work in the most crime-ridden areas of Jamaica's capital of Kingston. They'll be in the UK from 18-24 March, to share with churches, community groups and voluntary organisations how they have combated some of the serious social problems they've encountered through work with their respective organisations Operation Save Jamaica and Joy Town Learning Centre.
The last time Pastor Fletcher and Pastor Wilmot were in the UK was in September 2002, when they came here at the invitation of Rev Les Isaac OBE to warn Britain's churches they needed to address the issue of fatherlessness, and gun and knife crime in the black community.
Their visit was covered by various media organisations including the BBC and they were even featured on the 6pm news, such was the hunger to hear what they had to say.
By 2003, the whole of the UK became aware of the gun and knife crime plaguing Britain's inner cities with the shooting of four girls in Aston Birmingham on New Year's Day. Soon after, Street Pastors was started by Rev Les Isaac, Rev David Shosanya and PC Ian Crichlow.
Rev Isaac and Bishop Wilton Powell OBE, National Overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy UK have invited Pastors Fletcher and Wilmot for a return visit. Rev Isaac stated: "I have kept in touch with both men since they came to the UK in 2002, and have visited their respective projects when I've travelled to Jamaica.
"I believe the Christian community here can learn a lot from the work Pastor Fletcher and Pastor Wilmot have been carrying out in the inner cities of Kingston for many years. As with many inner cities, Kingston has its challenges with gangs, poverty and crime, but these men have managed to make a difference and positively improve peoples lives, causing some to leave gang life and helping others get an education so they can get themselves and their family out of poverty."
Bishop Powell added: "I've seen first hand the impact their work has had in Kingston, and I believe they will provide inspiration and hope for Christians working with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups here in Britain."
During their time here, Pastors Fletcher and Wilmot, along with the delegation of fellow Jamaican leaders, will meet and talk with church and community leaders in Birmingham, Luton, Northampton and London.