Anti-social behaviour, the breakdown of the family, and young people feeling marginalised are massive challenges for both the Church and our society. For many years Ashton town centre has experienced problems around its pubs at weekends. Our churches can work together to be there for people who are vulnerable or need help.
The Street Pastors scheme is a national initiative which began in 2003 and is to be found in over 300 locations in the U.K. The aim is to make it known that the Church has left the building to create a visible presence on the streets in order to help the vulnerable, intimidated and hurting and to offer non-judgmental practical support and care to those who need our help.
The Street Pastors main role is to make themselves available to: care, listen and offer practical help to whoever they meet. Their visible presence offers reassurance and their non-confrontational approach helps them to become a welcome part of community life. Street Pastors are not there to preach but to serve people of all faiths and those with no faith with practical demonstrations of God’s love. However our Christian faith will be at the heart of everything we do and why we do it.
We would like to form teams of Street Pastors and Prayer Pastors who would operate in Ashton town centre during late evenings, when the town centre is busy.
What are the Criteria?
In order to become a Street Pastor you need:
- To be at least 18 years of age (there is no upper age limit),
- To have a Christian faith and to have been a member of a recognised church for at least the last 12 months,
- To be able to provide a positive reference from your church leader,
- To commit to approximately 30 hours of training in the first year,
- To be able to work effectively as part of a team,
- To commit to going out on patrol at least once a month.
In addition to those Pastors who go out on patrol, we will also need Prayer Pastors who will provide prayer support for the Street Pastors and the work they do.
What Will We Do?
The role of an Ashton Street Pastor will develop as we introduce this mission but it might include:
- Trying to do what Jesus would do: caring, listening and helping,
- Providing help and support to those in need,
- Reducing the vulnerability of lone individuals,
- Providing directions to taxi stands, cash dispensers and local pubs and clubs,
- Signposting people to support services,
- Giving out bottled water,
- Giving out flip flops.
- Crime reduction,
- Anti-social behaviour reduction,
- Safer streets,
- Improved image of the town centre.
- Collaborative working with the council and local police i.e. ‘The Urban Trinity’
In order for the Ashton Street Pastor project to succeed, we will require lots of committed Street and Prayer Pastors. If having read this leaflet you think you might be interested in becoming a Street Pastor then please contact: Chris Wooff or ring me on 01942 724207