THEY are the residents who give up their Friday night to help the community.

Now they are celebrating a major milestone.

St Thomas’s Church in Fair Oak was packed with residents of all ages on Saturday as the Bishopstoke, Fair Oak and Horton Heath Street Pastors celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The group is one of the 300 street pastors groups across the UK and claims to be the first semi-rural setting of street pastors in the country.

Its members patrol the streets in Bishopstoke, Fair Oak and Horton Heath every Friday night supported by a team of prayer pastors.

Group co-ordinator Liz Richardson said: “In the ten years there has been significant reduction in street crime, and we have been told by people that their lives have been changed for the better by the street pastor work. Over the 10 years we have had over 30 people train and commit to walking the streets. Our Street Pastors are Christian volunteers, who give up their Friday night to walk the streets.”

Now they have celebrated their achievement and said they hope to move on for another 10 years or more.