Church on the Street

One relatively exciting phenomenon on our local religious landscape is The Church on the Street or CoTS. It is a new church, founded and led by former drug dealer turned clergyman, Mick Fleming. He has a penchant for wearing black clerical dress and dark sunglasses, regardless of the location. CoTS has received much publicity. Recently interviewed by BBC local news for its work with the poor, it was flooded with donations and offers of support. It focuses on food banks and assisting the homeless, as well as offering Bible studies and Sunday worship. Pastor Mick claims to have prevented one suicide each week in Burnley alone. He claims that children, on receipt of bags of food, will ‘rip them open’, such is their hunger. All power to his elbow. CoTS' website states:

With our first Church in Burnley and our new Church in Barnoldswick, “Church on the Street Ministries” is a Church with a difference – We put our faith into action through social welfare provision and tackling injustice

Barnoldswick must be far needier a place than nearby Nelson for so socially-minded a church to have planted there. A couple of people I know went to visit CoTS and approved of the preaching, though it closed its doors in January at the behest of local government. The Good News newspaper was quick to run with Pastor Mick’s story in its March edition. In his testimony, he claims that he was about to kill someone (in his former career as drug dealer, rather than pastor), whose children then appeared at the door. Bright light came from their hands and blinded him for 15 seconds. He later claims to have met an angel who offered him instruction which he later tested, and was satisfied of its veracity.

Much as I am cautious about people who have chats with angels, and love dressing in religious garb, I salute the man’s work and wish this new church well. 

From the pastor of the Church in The Field.