Gran, 87, from Messingham believed to be oldest street pastor in UK
Once a month, mum-of-four Renee Howling drives her car from Messingham to join Saturday night revellers in Scunthorpe town centre.
Nothing unusual in that, you might be thinking.
But retired Methodist preacher Mrs Howling is approaching her 88th birthday and is believed to be the oldest street pastor in Britain.
The grandmother-of-seven signed up with the street pastors in 2010, soon after their formation – and has never looked back.
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Mrs Howling, pictured, is among 15 volunteers who staff a prayer support centre in Scunthorpe's Frodingham Road every Saturday night, from 10pm until 4am.
She said: "We work on a rota basis and as I often deliver sermons in local churches on Sunday mornings I am not available every week. I am not superwoman.
"I love my role as a street pastor and I have no thoughts about retiring.
"The street pastors are the fastest-growing Christian movement in UK and it is great to be a part of the movement."
Mrs Howling, who has been a preacher since she was 16, is a firm supporter of young people.
She said: "One night in Frodingham Road, I was surrounded by a group of teenagers who were going on the town.
"They gave me a hug when I told them about my work with the pastors.
"There's nothing wrong with most youngsters if you give them a chance."
Bryan Webster, who organises the street pastor scheme in Scunthorpe, said there are currently 15 volunteers – 10 women and five men – patrolling the streets.
Volunteers range from 20 to 70 years old.
They come in addition to the 15-strong prayer support team that Mrs Howling is part of – the youngest of which is 19.
The street pastors patrol from 10pm until 4am on Saturdays and also on Bank Holiday Sundays. Their duties can include handing out flip-flops to women tired from walking in high heels, helping people into taxis and offering water and basic first aid.
Mr Webster said: "The church is more committed than ever to the initiative and we are changing some faces on the management team and seeking to recruit new volunteers. We have just taken delivery of another 200 pairs of flip-flops, so we are going through about that many pairs each year."