A CHURCH in Chippenham will open its doors on three days over the Christmas period to those in need of a safe place throughout the long winter nights.

For the fourth year running, Central Methodist Church, on Monkton Hill, will welcome vulnerable people inside on December 20, 21 and 31.

The safe zone is designed by Chippenham Street Pastors and will help people who may need it at night.

Since it opened, the safe zone has helped many people in need of minor to major first aid, the homeless, those who have become separated from friends and those who need a dry place to wait for loved ones to collect them.

This year the safe zone is to be run by Chippenham Street Pastors and St John Ambulance volunteers.

In 2016 it was reported that street pastors nationwide saved the NHS an estimated £16m by helping people at the point of contact in their town’s night time instead of them going to an overburdened A&E.

Chippenham Street Pastors see this as a continued commitment to the towns purple flag status, an award which recognises the town’s night time economy and safety.