Page last updated at 08:54 GMT, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 09:54 UK

Thousands pray over gang violence

Manchester Velodrome
Christians filled the cycling venue for prayers

More than 6,000 Christians have met for an evening of prayer focusing on gang crime in Greater Manchester.

Police chiefs, community leaders and politicians attended the event at Manchester Velodrome, organised by church group City Links.

They were asked to pray for police forces and the reduction of gang crime.

Organisers hope to promote partnerships between the police, local authorities and churches to address the causes of crime and bring hope to communities.

Christians from all denominations attended the event at the velodrome on Stuart Street, which recently hosted the World Cycling Championships.

Debra Green, director of City Links, said: "Persistent prayer, over many years, has opened the way for a huge number of effective initiatives delivering benefits to people and communities far and wide."

As a police officer and a Christian I know that this work can and will impact on our communities
Chief Superintendent Neil Wain, GMP

The Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch and Chief Superintendent Neil Wain, Stockport Divisional Commander, were among those attending.

Mr Wain said: "There are significant benefits from initiatives which involve faith communities working with the police and local agencies, including improving community confidence and trust, increased understanding and not least reduced crime.

"By working and praying together to reduce crime and disorder we not only change the physical circumstances that affect people's everyday lives but we change the spiritual circumstances.

"As a police officer and a Christian I know that this work can and will impact on our communities."




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