Prince William Shares 'Touching Moment' with Young Boy During Church Visit with Kate Middleton

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The Duchess of Cambridge The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meeting Pastor Mick Fleming during a visit to the Church on the Street (left) in Burnley
The Duchess of Cambridge The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meeting Pastor Mick Fleming during a visit to the Church on the Street (left) in Burnley

PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo Kate Middleton and Prince William

After surprising healthcare workers (and cuddling a therapy puppy!), Kate Middleton and Prince William continued their royal outing in Lancashire on Thursday with a visit to Church on the Street, a charity that lifts people out of poverty while providing a space for worship.

The couple visited with Pastor Mick Fleming, who has dedicated his time in lockdown to supporting the homeless. Pastor Fleming — a former drug dealer who is now known for his charitable efforts — started Church on the Street in 2019 to help the homeless and people living in poverty in the town of Burnley, about 240 miles northwest of London.

William and Kate spent time with Pastor Fleming and his staff, hearing about some of the services that they have provided to the several thousand people who have been through the doors of the former gym over the last few years.

Fleming told PEOPLE that William showed great empathy with a boy named Deacon Glover whose mother died last year. The prince, who lost his mother Princess Diana when he was 15 years old, bonded with the young boy over their shared experience.

"They were amenable and down to earth and really engaged," he said. "They sat down with some of the guys who come in here and with myself. They used their own experience to talk to them. There was a young boy who has lost his mother and the prince talked to him about it and spoke about losing his own mother and passed on his experience."

"He said, 'Don't stop talking about your mother,' and gave him his own perspective. It was a very touching moment," he added.

RELATED: Kate Middleton and Prince William Surprise Healthcare Workers — and Meet a Cockapoo Therapy Puppy!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meeting Pastor Mick Fleming during a visit to the Church on the Street in Burnley
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meeting Pastor Mick Fleming during a visit to the Church on the Street in Burnley

PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo Prince William and Kate Middleton

Fleming said William and Kate's visit "give us credibility for our work and highlight what we are doing, and it also encourages the other organizations like the NHS who are trying to partner with us. It encourages that to be followed through."

"They were so relaxed and easy to speak to and engaged on a personal level. It was just like talking to a friend," he added.

The royals also heard how the church provides a refuge for those who are struggling and is a part food bank, clothing bank and a place where those in need can take a hot shower and use the laundry facilities. The center is available to up to 200 people at a time, with a qualified counselor and addiction and mental health support also on site. Fleming and volunteers also hold church services every Sunday.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Church on the Street in Burnley
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Church on the Street in Burnley

PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo Prince William and Kate Middleton

"They are bringing something extra to this by encouraging leadership in this area, and set up initiatives around it and they're having a big impact. From the royal perspective, the nation relies on them, as they're the next generation and they're doing a good job. They're doing the right thing in the right way," Fleming told PEOPLE.

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The Duchess of Cambridge, he added, "has a passion" for working with addiction.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Church on the Street in Burnley
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Church on the Street in Burnley

PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo Prince William and Kate Middleton

"You can see through her conversations that she is very knowledgable. The conversations she had with addicts and also in a conversation with me, I could tell she understands diagnoses and the lack of resources for it. She was very well informed about the whole issue," he shared.

Earlier in the day, William and Kate visited a rural part of the county of Lancashire to hear about how local health services have coped amid the pandemic.