Friday, 25th July 2008, saw the launch of Street Pastors in Basingstoke. Volunteers from churches across the town, having completed a mandatory training programme, walked into the nightlife of Basingstoke to bring God’s love to the revellers who were out in and around the bars and nightclubs in the town.
Each Friday and Saturday night, from about 10.30pm onwards, the Street Pastors move out in teams from our base in the URC church in London Street. Wearing distinctive uniforms, we walk in teams around the outside of bars and nightclubs until closing time. We normally finish around 4am every Saturday and Sunday morning.
Our teams go out with pockets full of lollipops, and have a member carrying a bag of flip-flops. It is amazing how offering lollipops to a person can build a relationship and gives a well needed sugar boost. Girls, having consumed too much drink, and who are unable to balance on their high-heeled shoes, appreciate the offer of a free pair of flip-flops to make their journey home much more comfortable.
The response that we have received from the regulars in the bars, clubs, passersby, door staff and the police has been very positive. We have been made very welcome. We make it clear to people that we are not about preaching, but offering practical help and support. People willingly come up to us and ask questions. They see us as their friends. Many of us can tell of the exciting encounters we have had, giving us the opportunity to share testimony of our personal relationship with Jesus.
We consider prayer cover for the pastors very important. We would like to support our Street Pastors with a team of Prayer Pastors, who will meet and pray in the URC whilst we walk the streets, and we are looking for volunteers. We currently have a team of Prayer Warriors who pray into the circumstances of people we meet on the streets and who ask for prayer.
If you feel God’s calling to join “Basingstoke Street Pastors” (you are only required to volunteer to walk one evening per month) or if you would like to join our prayer team, please email us or contact us via our Contact page.