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SELFLESS street pastors who helped calm drunk clubbers on Friday and Saturday nights are no longer needed in the area.

Volunteers first started giving up their evenings to look after people as they came out of clubs in Loughton since 2012 - but the project is drawing to a close.

The area is no longer the nightlife hub it once was, particularly after LuXe Bar was ordered to shut down earlier this year after a string of anti-social incidents.

It was run by a team of volunteers from Christian churches to patrol the streets in the early hours to "care, listen and help" without judgment or preaching.

Ian King, senior leader at Restore Community Church in Loughton, said: "It's been a really fun and exciting journey.

"There are countless of stories of laughter in the streets - but times have now changed and this particular need isn't in Loughton anymore.

"But this isn't something to be sad about, rather it is something to celebrate as great work has been done and Loughton got that community feel back again."

Over the years, the pastors stopped fights by giving out lolly-pops, had their photo taken with revellers and given out flip flops to women (and men) with sore feet after a night of dancing.

They have even gone as far as taking people home who found themselves stranded.

Mr King added: "Most of the reasons we were out on the streets was to help people who were a bit worse for wear.

“All of the clubs are closed in Loughton now so the need for something like street pastors to be on the streets is gone which is great.

“The street pastors were out there but had hardly anything to do, so we have decided to draw things to a close. A good outcome to what was, once upon a time, quite a significant local problem.”

Wayne Dulson, a street pastor from Restore Community Church said: “We were there to be a friendly face, what we didn’t do was preach and judge people.

All street pastors are first aid trained so are able to deal with minor injuries.

Crime has dropped in places where there are street pastors in operation because the presence of people walking down the streets is enough to deter yobs.

“We just wanted to see what we can do to make Loughton a fun, safe place to be," Mr Dulson added.

“It’s been really good fun, in all winds and weathers."

The group is now working with Epping Forest District Council and the police to see what other areas of life they can improve.