A Burnley pastor, who used to be a gangster and threatened people for money, has appeared on Songs of Praise to talk about his story of radical Christianity.

On Songs of Praise: Pendle Radicals, which aired at the weekend (12 September), Pastor Mick Fleming talked about the creation of Church On The Street Ministries.

This is a Christian church with weekly Sunday services, but with proactive community action on the streets.

They help and support people affected by homelessness, addictions and poverty.

On the show, Pastor Mick said he had a background of “addiction and abuse” and “wasn’t a nice person”.

He used to hurt people to make money and would also carry a gun around with him.

However, he claims his life changed in 2009 when he was setting off to collect a debt from someone.

The Pastor explained: “I had an experience with God. Something happened and I felt my life had been saved”.

Speaking to a national paper last year, Pastor Mick divulged more into his religious experience.

He said he was waiting with a gun to collect a debt from a man. However, while waiting for him outside a gym, Mick noticed that he was with his children.

Mick said he saw a blinding light coming from one of the children's hands in a vision which changed his life forever.

According to Pastor Mick, he collapsed back into the car, sweating and feeling sick, and tried to use his gun on himself – but it didn’t fire.

From that day, he vowed to change his ways.

On the Songs of Praise episode, Pastor Mick added that Church on the Street and his journey to support some of the most needy in society started when he sat down and spoke to a homeless person one day.

He explained: “I just pitched up next to a guy who was begging and we had a brew together and talked.

“It began there – in that conversation something happened and other people started to come and sit down and talk.

“In a few weeks we just had people coming and sitting down - Church On The Street was born.”

More than 800 people a week come to the church for company or Sunday services on Hammerton Street in Burnley.

Pastor Mick said the organisations can help people how have “fallen in between gaps that other organisations can’t stand in.”

He explained: “I take my pain and join it to other people’s pain … we heal together.

“I need people who are suffering as much as they need me.

“I’m moved to tears most Sundays as I can see the changes in people’s lives.”

Pastor Mick wasn’t the only feature on the 30 minute show as the episode also took a look at the new Pendle ‘Radicals Trail’ which takes a look at six local ‘radicals’ of history who broke the mold.

Shonagh Ingram, of Mid Pennine Arts, said: “The radicals trail is an art project to install stone plaques.

“Each of which celebrates a special person or place which changed the world.”

Among them is George Fox who founded the Quaker movement; Sir Jonas Moore, who established Greenwich Mean Time and Katharine Glasier, who campaigned for the working class.

It also looks at and Benjamin Ingham, who founded the Moravian Church.

Discover more about the trail online.

You can watch Songs of Praise: Pendle Radicals on BBC iplayer.