The Street Pastors initiative has grown dramatically since its birth in London 12 years ago, when the Church began to establish new forms of contact with hard-to-reach communities of young or disenfranchised people in urban centres.
‘I wanted to get involved because I heard about it after going to church for many years – you sit there and think “How can I help?”’
Street pastors in Bexhill, Sussex, have completed a Response Pastors training day and will form the first Response Pastors team outside of London – Bexhill Response Pastors. The volunteers have received their uniforms and certificates and were commissioned as Response Pastors at a service last week.
Many new Street Pastors volunteers started training back in February, so by May many of them will have reached the stage at which they can be ‘commissioned’ – made ready to be an official street pastor.
On Friday night the first 41 street pastors for the city of Coleraine in Northern Ireland were commissioned, along with eight volunteers who will pray for the team and the people they meet during patrols.