A former criminal held up a sign stating "I used to be an armed robber" during a publicity stunt for a Croydon church.

Members of the Croydon evangelical church Expression of Worship held up the signs at an event in Croydon Town Centre yesterday (Thursday, April 24).

The event included people holding placards that say, ‘I used to love sex’, ‘I used to be a liar and ‘I used to be a masturbator.’

Organiser Ayo Oduniyi said that the aim was showcase the gospel of Jesus Christ.

He said: "We are doing this because we want to demonstrate the authentic power of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to announce that we are not the same person we used to be anymore and allow people to know that same power is available to them by putting their faith in Jesus Christ.

Mr Oduniyi said it was part of his church Expression of Worship’s evangelistic efforts.

He said: "We want to rebuild the name of Christianity and show people it’s not a bunch of hypocritical, perfect people, but tell a story a bound, enslave, sinful people who have been made new by the power of the blood of Jesus Christ. 

This was the second ‘I used to be’ event organised by the church.

The third event will take place in Brixton.