A sanctuary in the city

For five years, Reading Minster has been opening its doors on a Friday and Saturday night to support those in the city in need and offer a safe space for anyone who needs it.

From Street Pastors to paramedics, the Minster and its dedicated volunteer team provide a sanctuary in the city centre. Several projects run throughout the evening and on into the early hours of the morning, the latest going on until 3am.

ReadiStreet, with volunteers from Faith Christian Group, serve food to the homeless in the city and provide cold weather kits including sleeping bags and warm clothing.

Wendy Harris, ReadiStreet Manager, said:

“My heart has always been for the homeless and our aim is to make them feel valued and loved.”

As city nightlife begins to liven up, the Reading Street Pastors are on hand to help guide people from bars and clubs who may need someone to talk to or medical treatment to the Sanctuary at the Minster. The Street Pastors work with door staff at late-night venues to help keep people safe and out of potentially dangerous situations, including keeping the streets free of glass bottles.

South Central Ambulance Service paramedics work through the night treating injured patients. In doing so they help to relieve some of the pressure from the Royal Berkshire Hospital A&E.

BBC South Today visited the Minster in January to see the different projects in action and hear from the volunteers and paramedics. Watch the full video report:

Archdeacon Stephen Pullin joined Bridgitte Tetteh on BBC Radio Berkshire on Sunday 30 January reflecting on the importance of the projects and the difference they make to people in the city:

Page last updated: 10th February 2022 10:11 AM