Street Pastors

by Michael Ford last modified 21 Sep, 2011 11:48 AM

“A Street Pastor is someone from the Christian community who is willing to care, listen and help.”

In 2002, the Revd Les Isaac visited Jamaica to learn how the church was tackling or seeking to engage with the challenges of criminal behaviour.  Following extensive research and discussion two important messages emerged one of which was “The importance of churches engaging, in unity, with other community groups to work together and effect change.”

From this message emerged the idea of the “Urban Trinity” – the working together of The Church, Local Government and the Police, for the betterment of the community. From this idea, Street Pastors was born under the auspices of Ascension Trust, set up in 1993.

Street Pastors currently focus on the “night time economy” – young people (and not so young ones!) who are out on the streets having left pubs and clubs, often very much the worse for wear. It is important to remember that “The role of Street Pastors is not about preaching heaven and hell, but one of caring, listening and helping…”

Street Pastors undergo extensive training; are committed members of a Christian fellowship/church; are recommended by their Church Leader; undergo a CRB check; are over 18. There is no upper age limit!

Street Pastors work in teams of 12, divided into 3 groups of 4, and are generally out on the streets between 10pm and up to 4am. They are usually linked to the Police or other authority by radio, have a clearly identified uniform and are always supported by prayer partners and prayer groups.

They build relationships with young people; give out flip-flops to girls who have lost their high healed shoes; defuse potentially violent situations (often with wine gums!); help people get home; administer basic first aid and liaise with the Ambulance Service; sit with young people and listen.

The results of the 200+ groups around the country speak for themselves: reduced crime and anti social behaviour; less strain on over-stretched NHS resources; less criminal damage; less fear in the community.

Street Pastor schemes operate in smaller market towns and villages as well as larger cities. Anyone can be a Street Pastor or a Prayer Partner provided they fulfil the basic requirements. The starting point is the Vision to see our communities as safer and better places for everyone. Street Pastors demonstrate how Christians can truly work in unity and live out the Gospel message of love.

Want to know more?  Contact the Ramsbury Office: 01380 729808, ramsbury.office@salisbury.anglican.org

For further information about Ascension Trust, look on their website: www.streetpastors.org.uk

Salisbury Street Pastors

Salisbury Street Pastors was launched in September 2009.

We currently have a team in excess of 40 volunteers who patrol the City Centre on Friday Evenings and some Saturday Evenings from 10.00pm till 4.00am.

Street Pastors spend time helping anyone out late at night on the streets, perhaps just with a caring listening ear, or perhaps helping someone get home safely after a bit too much to drink!

Contact: salisbury@streetpastors.org 
Web page

Trowbridge Street Pastors

The impetus to start Trowbridge Street Pastors came from Lee Daniell. Lee had been a homeless alcoholic and saw a programme about Street Pastors on the television.  He was inspired by what he saw and approached his church leader. The idea was taken to CATA (Christians in action in Trowbridge Area) and several volunteers from different denominations came forward.  After much prayer and training, the scheme was launched in March 2009 and has grown since that time.

For further information contact the Street Pastor Co-ordinator, Stewart Palmen: trowbridge@streetpastors.org 
Web page

Weymouth Street Pastors

Weymouth Street Pastors began street operations on Friday 13 June, 2008.  A total of 23 volunteers, split into 5 teams, have currently been trained for street work.  A further 17 volunteers have stepped forward as Prayer Pastors to support the street teams.  The initiative works out of St. Mary’s Church in the town centre.

A Street Pastor team takes to the town centre streets every Friday night between the hours of 10pm and 4am. They aim to be a helpful presence on the streets, to assist anyone who may find themselves in difficulties, or to listen to those who simply need to talk something through. While the team is on the streets, Prayer Pastors are located at St. Mary’s, offering prayer for the night-time economy of Weymouth, holding themselves ready to respond to any prayer requests that may be relayed back from the street team.  The role of the prayer team is highly important, as they have often guided the street team to places of immediate need.

The volunteers for both street and prayer teams are drawn from local churches across Weymouth and Portland.

Contact:weymouth@streetpastors.org.uk 
Web page

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