Ashford Street Pastors is an inter-denominational Christian response to some of the problems we see in our community. We were commissioned in November 2010 as part of a partnership with the local authority and the police and, in 2015, we became a registered charity.
We have two teams – our Street Pastors on patrol in a team of men and women and our Prayer Pastors as a support team at base. Although independent, we work closely with the local Police, Community Safety Partnership and Ashford Borough Council to help make our streets safer at night.
Our Street Pastors have patrolled for over 6500 hours since then and our Prayer Pastors have clocked up nearly 4500 hours.
- collected and removed nearly 5000 bottles and glasses,
- engaged with over 4500 people
- assisted over 1300 of them.
We currently have 18 Street Pastors and 9 Prayer Pastors (although many of the Street Pastors are also Prayer Pastors) and patrol Ashford town centre every Friday evening between 22.00 and 04.00.
On a patrol evening, the Street Pastors and Prayer Pastors meet at our base around 21.30 and the team checks all their equipment, ensuring that they have sufficient supplies to meet the needs of the night. Following this, they have a short prayer time before leaving the base, usually between 22.00 and 22.30.
The first and most important role for our Prayer Pastors is to pray for our Street Pastors on patrol and for any person or situation that they meet.
In addition they:
- are responsible for maintaining radio links with the Street Pastors and with the Community Safety Unit monitoring the town centre;
- provide an invaluable service in supplying refreshments when the Street Pastors take a break;
- complete a detailed report that is later circulated to all the interested parties such as the Police, local authority and supporting churches.