Church Project 2020 – Coventry Street Pastors.
Please click on this link to view a presentation about the CSPI. Street Pastors
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A street pastor is someone who is a Christian and is part of a local church; concerned for society and their local community; willing to engage with people, whatever their perspective on life and wherever they hang out; happy to work in a team and in collaboration with other agencies and projects, both statutory and voluntary.
Street Pastors was pioneered in London in 2003 by Les Isaac.
On that first night, 18 volunteers took to the streets of Brixton – 15 women and 3 men.
Since then they have trained over 12,000 Street and Prayer Pastors (IT TAKES THE EQUIVALENT OF TWELVE DAYS OF TRAINING), who have played an active part in strengthening community life and working for safer streets. Currently, more than 300 towns and cities around the UK have a Street Pastors team. When you add prayer pastors, management teams and trustees, this means that there are over 20,000 volunteers in total associated with the Street Pastors network.
What do they do? Save the ambulance and police services time and work; sometimes save people from ending up in cells – being God’s eyes, ears, hands, feet and voice on the streets. An MP said: “Street Pastors is about Christians rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in practically responding to the problems of crime and safety. They are like beacons on our streets and I want to see them shining brightly in every constituency.”
As well as serving the night-time economy, the Street Pastors model is being used in daytime and community settings, for example, in parks, schools and colleges (studying what Street pastors do can be part of the GCSE RE curriculum!). In 2014 the charity started to train experienced street pastors for the role of response pastors – volunteers who provide physical and emotional support in times of crisis. They were there, for instance, after the Manchester Bombings at the Ariana Grande concert.
Whichever context they are in, street pastors offer reassurance, safety and support through listening, caring and helping. They work together with other partners to make communities safer.
Each city project is set up by Ascension Trust, which is the governing body behind Street Pastors, and run by a local coordinator with support from local churches and community groups, in partnership with the police, local council and other statutory agencies.
Street Pastors are a charity; here in Coventry after start-up funding they are now having to find money to keep going, to pay for kit, for consumables – water, lollies, space blankets, flip-flops. They also have to fund training.
Find Out More about Street Pastors in general: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wR6oOKTqYMw
Some images from the Coventry initiative: https://streetpastors.org/locations/coventry/in-action/