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Home > Action Zones > Politics and Social Action > Features > Street Pastors

street pastorsStreet Pastors

 

Related Links:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtnHNRFkURQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NokodTxJ4Ts  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5lFgvEQ5Ik

 

http://www.bristol.anglican.org/wordpress/?p=6258  

http://www.bristol.anglican.org/wordpress/?p=4469   

 

Just wanted to take a moment to talk about Street Pastors!


The Youtube clips (Above) probably explain what a Street Pastor is better than I can, but the idea is simple, it is showing the love of Christ in practical ways on our local streets. Giving out bottles of water to those who maybe have had to much to drink, a pair of flip-flops to girls staggering around in high heels (or have taken their shoes off to go home, and have you seen how much broken glass is on our streets?), a listening ear and by showing love we also get some awesome opportunities to talk about Jesus.

Street Pastors are local Christians, from local Churches, who go out from 11pm until 4am in small mixed teams of 4 or 5 people on a Friday night. We have been in Kingswood since September, but have been engaged on ministry to the night time ecconomy for two years.
 

So why are you telling us all this?


KingswoodstreetpastorsMaybe you live in or near Kingswood and would like to be a Street Pastor or a Prayer Pastor? Perhaps like Paul in Acts 16, with the man of Macedonia you are hearing God say "come over and help us?"

Maybe you live in Bristol and have a heart for the city centre, and long for something like Street Pastors in Bristol city? Mike Pout from Woodland's is exploring setting up Bristol Street Pastors and would love to hear from you. Mike's email is: .

Maybe you are in an area near Bristol and think, actually my local area needs something like Street Pastors, local Christians out there being salt and light, at the time and in the places where we are most needed and are thinking of starting up a local Street Pastors group, if so do contact me and also the Ascension Trust (the governing body behind Street Pastors)

Perhaps you think, I'd love my congregation to hear more about this work, if so we'd love to come and share with them a bit about Street Pastors and about some of the awesome things God has done since we have been out on the streets.

Or maybe God is birthing in you something else as a way to reach this generation? If so, Kingswood Street Pastors are hosting a day conference on Saturday 28th January 10am-4pm, at Holy Trinity Kingswood, called NightLIFE , where we hope to be joined by other projects that reach out to the night time ecconomy, pubs, clubs, DJ's and doorstaff. Should be a great day, pencil the date in your diary (see attachment). Suggesting £5 donation to cover our costs.

Also, Kingswood Street Pastors are seeking a voluntary Administrative Assistant for 7 hours a week, we think this would be idea for someone who maybe has recently retired, or is currently out of work, but wants to be doing something that will really make a difference for the Kingdom (see attached adverts, application etc).

I've also included bellow my story of how I became involved with Street Pastors in my last parish, and a bit more of a detailed explaination of what we do.

SalisburyJanepeter


Thanks for taking the time to read this

God bless,

Andy Mason.

Rev. Andy Mason,
Team Vicar / Minister at large,
Kingswood Team Ministry
...And chair of Kingswood Street Pastors.

Tel (0117 9603195).


 

Street Pastors...


Getting in from an Alpha supper, I kicked my trainers off and sprawled out on the sofa to watch 'Friday night with Jonathan Ross' (you can tell this story is a couple of years old!).

I had just started my curacy and the Bishop of Salisbury had asked me to "do some work with those clubbers"... I didn't even realise Salisbury had a nightlife having just finished my training at Nottingham and having lived in Bournemouth, both big cities with vibrant night life. Anyway Street Pastors wasn't on my mind as I was sprawled out in front of the telly...

It was then God gave me the nudge... to go into the city centre and have a look around, I really didn't want to. It was cold, raining and about a half hour walk into town. As I walked down the road to get into town, I saw three girls, the middle girl was so drunk her friends were either side of her supporting her. Looking at them I'd say they were about 14 or 15, just kids, and massively vulnerable. Then I walked past THE kebab shop, it was rowdy with squaddies and I pulled my head down. In the doorway of (what was then) Abbey National (now Santander) was a homeless lady wrapped up in a curtain, it was filthy, I wouldn't put a dog in that. A girl was screaming at her boyfriend, another sobbed in the doorway. As I looked around all the Churches in the city centre were in darkness, the Cathedral's main doors were shut (to keep out undesireables) and the main night club, the chapel, was a redundant Church. What a message does this send out? The Church isn't interested, and is a relic of a previous society? I know it is a cliche, but cliches are often true... I think Jesus would have been out here on the streets, in the rain, with the hurting, marginalised, disenfranchised... I don't often hear God speak in an audible voice, but I asked him 'what can I do?' and the reply was "the only thing you can't do is nothing!"

I had been out on a night out many times before, but tonight I think God showed me the town with his eyes, and showed me his heart for a generation who have (largely) missed out on hearing the gospel of Christ in an accessable way.

It was from here that Street Pastors Salisbury was born and then we moved to Kingswood, and I realised that Kingswood had exactly the same problems as Salisbury...in fact opposite Kingswood's busiest pub is the Witfield Tabanacle, a falling down redundant Church, locked up with a big rusty padlock on it to keep people out.
 

NightLifeSide1So what do Street Pastors actually do?


Street Pastors is a national initiative, started in 2004 in Hackney by Rev. Les Issacs as a response to the gun and knife crime in the city. The local Christians from a variety of denominations, got together and did some training and went out wearing clear distinct uniforms, and gave out bottles of water, flip flops, a listening ear, sharing the love of Jesus in practical ways, being the Church in action on the streets, not wacking people over the head with a bible but gently introducing people to Jesus as the Holy Spirit opens people up in conversations. This project was so successful that Street Pastors launched in Brixton, and now their are 9'000 Street Pastors, Kingswood is the 189th place to have Street Pastors.

We go out in small mixed teams of about 4 people, supporting us back at base are our prayer pastors, who pray for us as we are out on the street, it has been amazing the ways the prophetic insights have translated into amazing opportunities on the streets. Street Pastors go out on a Friday night from about 10/11pm to about 4:00am when the pubs clubs empty. It is messy, it is dangerous (although only 1 street pastor has ever been hurt whilst on duty, not bad 1 out of 9000!) but there are some awesome opportunities to talk with people, pray with them, bless them... I call it putting a human face on the local Church. it has also drawn local churches together in a beautiful display of unity, reminded of the scripture where God promises "where there is unity God commands a blessing".

What is more, this isn't made up of young trendy types, one of our greatest Street Pastors in Kingswood is Shirely who is 72, she is amazing! The young girls especially see her as a grandmother figure and really open up to her. The oldest Street Pastor is in Salford (Manchester) and she is in her 80's.

God bless,
Andy Mason.

Rev. Andy Mason,
Team Vicar / Minister at large,
Kingswood Team Ministry
...And chair of Kingswood Street Pastors.

Tel (0117 9603195).