POLICE have swapped the beat for the pulpit in a bid to reach the wider community.
Officers in Glasgow's South Side have become the first to take part in Sunday Services as a way of trying to engage with people.
It was an idea which stemmed from Strathclyde Police chaplain Rev Neil Galbraith of Cathcart Old Parish Church.
And it led to officers taking a sermon for the first time – an idea which looks set to take off.
Rev Galbraith said: "We have strong links with the police in the community through a number of projects. While the police do hold regular meetings with the community, numbers have been around 15 to 20 at the most. So as Chaplain I came up with the idea that they play a role in our Sunday service.
"We tried it out at Cathcart Old and there will be a series of special services which will be community minded."
Two officers took part and – and at one point one was left holding the baby as a Christening was held.
PC Stewart Croll and Sergeant Derek Johnston led the sermon and delivered talks on internet safety for children, during a part in the service for youngsters, and keeping people safe.
Rev Galbraith added: "Around 300 people were there to hear the police talk about links in the community and were able to address all age groups. It was appropriate as the ethos behind what we do is about bringing communities together."
Pupils from East Kilbride's St Vincent's Primary School choir were also on hand to give a performance during the service.
Chief Inspector Kenny McDonald, of Govan police station, said: "This is the first time we have taken part of a formal service. It was anopportunity to get our message across to a wider audience and was well received.
"Five other services are planned and I would like to see them being held in places of worship for other faiths such as mosques and synagogues."