PC to spend more time on his second beat – patrolling the pews

Reporter:

Lois Hough

A POLICE officer is taking on another role – winding down the beat and cranking up the sermons.

PC Jason Gunn is to spend more time at the River Dee Community Church in Flint where he is a pastor after he reduced his hours as a community beat manager.

The 35-year-old, who has volunteered at the Christian church for eight years, decided the time was right to devote more of himself.

Jason helps in the overall running at the church and organises steak nights, snooker trips and day trips for its members.

He says the two jobs complement each other well: “I moved to the area eight years ago and just started helping out with the cleaning.

“But my responsibilities picked up and soon I was getting involved in the Sunday service. Now I read sermons in them.

“I’m keen on having some fun working in the men’s ministry so we’ll be organising steak nights, snooker nights, comedy evenings and fishing trips.

“I’m helping out with youth work at the church and this has already helped in building trust and friendships with local youth, which is valuable to my role as a police officer.

“I think my two roles complement each other very well. I get to have a good understanding of what the needs of the community are and then have the opportunity to help address them.

“I really enjoy what I do and I’m glad I can spend more time at the church.”
Jason, originally from Cambridgeshire, worked for a law firm before he joined the Hertfordshire Constabulary.

He transferred to North Wales Police after three years in the force and married wife Ruth whose father, Steve Harmes, is the senior minister at the church.

Seven years on and he splits his working week between Flint police station and the church.

Jason is most passionate about helping vulnerable people and says the GLEAN project (Giving Locally Effectively Alleviating Need) is proving popular with its users.

“It’s basically a food bank where members of the church can donate tinned food and toiletries,” he said.

“At the end of the week we pack everything we have collected into bags and give them to homeless or needy people. Being a police officer really helps me to identify where these people are based because I am the eyes and ears of the community.

“They are really grateful for the food parcel so it makes it all worthwhile.”

The River Dee Community Church, which has around 80 members, is a Pentecostal church and a member of a national network of churches belonging to Assemblies of God.

The church hosts a Sunday morning service at Flint Town Hall at 11am and a Sunday Night Project for youngsters at 6.30pm.

Call 01352 762279 if you are interested in joining.

See full story in the Leader

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