A year in Yarra
Our official launch took place at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre. The launch was attended by the then Mayor of Yarra, Victoria Police’s Assistant Commissioner and parliamentarians from both sides of Victorian state politics.
20 June 2014
We fielded our first team to go out on patrol in Swan Street, in the Richmond area of the city. Now, a year later, Yarra Street Pastors is still going strong, with new volunteers signing up for training. We are preparing to field new teams in other areas in the suburbs of Collingwood and Fitzroy.
29 August 2014
Only 10 weeks after we had commenced our regular Saturday night patrols, Inspector Bernie Edwards, a police officer stationed in the City of Yarra Police Service Area (PSA), spoke positively of the impact in his area of Yarra Street Pastors.
“The dedication you have shown in working late every Saturday evening until 4 am Sunday morning demonstrates your community mindedness.”
“My police members and local licensees have been extremely complimentary of the programme you played a major role in developing.”
“The Yarra Street Pastors programme has been an outstanding success in helping to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the Swan Street, Richmond area.”
14 February 2015
We welcomed Eustace Constance and Sandy Scrimgeour from Ascension Trust in the UK to take us through some more training. Through the training and ministry of street pastors we have seen individuals develop and mature spiritually as Christians. We are asking them to go beyond their personal comfort zones and to sacrificially give their time to help and bless others and as they do so they learn to become more dependent on God and to turn to prayer to help them through their night shifts.
20 June 2015
This day was a major milestone which marked the first year of successful operation of Street Pastors in the Melbourne municipality, the City of Yarra.
What has changed over this year?
Our experiences have filtered back into our churches
As we witness God at work in our own lives, as well as in the lives of those we encounter on the streets, something of these experiences filters back into the churches we belong to. It is written in the Psalms that where there is unity among God’s children, God will command His blessing (Ps 133: 1–3). This has certainly been Yarra Street Pastors’ experience. Street Pastors, we believe, has made a valuable contribution towards improving relationships and cooperation among Christians of several church denominations.
Familiarity with us has softened attitudes
Yarra Street Pastors also enjoys an excellent relationship with hotel and club managers, door staff and shopkeepers along Swan Street, Richmond, who by now are familiar with our presence. A softening of attitude on the part of door staff, a few of whom had previously been nonplussed by street pastors, has been particularly noticeable. Kindness is contagious!