May 19 2013 Latest news:
By Laurence Cawley
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
A BEQUEST left by Suffolk police’s first woman sergeant is to be used to support a scheme offering support to those in need during nights on the town.
Bury Town Pastors is being given £7,000 by the Southgate Church, in Bury St Edmunds, following a legacy gift from the popular Brenda Mann, who died last year aged 92.
Ms Mann was a regular worshipper at Southgate Church. Originally from London, she joined Suffolk police and worked in Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds and went on to become the county’s first woman sergeant.
In 1993, she was awarded the MBE for services to police welfare. She left the church a substantial legacy from which this gift to Bury Town Pastors is being made.
The Town Pastors are Christian volunteers who have been out on the streets of Bury since May 2008, patrolling the club and bar areas of the town centre most Friday and Saturday nights between 10pm and 4am.
They help to make the town a safer place by providing a friendly presence in a non-judgmental and non-confrontational way, supporting vulnerable people and diffusing potential trouble. They are able to offer assistance to those who are feeling the effects of alcohol, helping people to find a way to get home safely.
The Rev Peter Gibson, minister of Southgate Church, said: “Our mission is to give away a significant portion of our income each year and we wanted to make a real difference to the work of a local organisation which we have supported since its inception.
“Many people in our congregation are involved in different ways in the work of the Town Pastors so it was a natural cause for us to bless – and one close to Brenda’s interests and values too.”
The Rev Rob Hufton, chairman of Bury Town Pastors management committee, said: “We are grateful to Southgate Church for this generous donation which will make a huge difference helping us to continue to offer assistance to people who might get into difficulties late at night on the streets of our town.”
A cheque for £7,000 will be handed over by the church to Jo Copsey and Rev Hufton, of Bury Town Pastors, on Wednesday evening at the Church Centre, in Southgate Community Centre.
Southgate Church is a Local Ecumenical Partnership supported by the Anglican, Baptist and United Reformed Churches. It is based in the Southgate Community Centre in Bury.