The challenges of street pastor ministry
08 February 2017 IN: Bishop
Street Pastors are trained volunteers who are members of local churches and share a passion for caring for their communities. They do this by patrolling the streets, meeting and engaging with people having a night out, and supporting those employed in the night-time economies of our town centres.
They care for distressed people, and where appropriate point them towards other organisations who can provide more specialised help. Street Pastors work collaboratively with other agencies, such as the police and councils, helping to make our communities safer.
The Bishop of Manchester, David Walker recently spent a bitterly cold Friday evening with members of Bury Street Pastors to experience the challenges of ministry in their town centre. He prayed with the group before going out with a team to meet bar owners, door supervisors, and members of the public enjoying a night out.
Who can be a Street Pastor?
A prospective Street Pastor needs to have been a committed member of a church fellowship for more than one year, with their minister or church leader able to provide a personal reference. They also need to be over 18 years old, and have been subject to a DBS check.
They undertake a comprehensive training programme spread over several months, in which they receive specialist training and mentoring. Finally they go out ‘on patrol’ with experienced Street Pastors to develop their own personal experience.
To celebrate their ’graduation’ from the training programme, they are formally commissioned at an annual gathering of Street Pastors and friends from around the region. The next celebration will take place on the Thursday 2 March at 7.30pm at South Chadderton Methodist Church, Oldham OL9 8LX when Les Isaac, OBE the founder of Street Pastors will be the speaker.
Manchester training officer, Mike Kendrick at email@example.com, will be pleased to introduce you to your local group.