Click here for our new 2018 Annual report: Belfast School Pastors Report 2018
School Pastors is a sister initiative to Street Pastors with the same values: Christians form different churches caring, listening and helping, this time in schools.
It launched in Malone Integrated College Jan 2017
Les Isaac, founder and director of The Ascension Trust, pioneered Street Pastors because of his belief in the Bible’s challenge to the church to be a active in the community.
The Ascension Trust originally planned School Pastors to be the first expression of their vision for social action in urban communities, but in the end it was Street Pastors that came first and School Pastors took several more years to reach fruition.
Like Street Pastors, the School Pastors initiative helps Christians to be relevant to and engaged with their communities.
School Pastors teams are now operating in 30 areas across the country, in secondary schools and in the post-16 sector. A number of new areas are at various stages of set-up or information gathering.
What does a School Pastor do?
Reassurance – school pastors provide a reassuring adult presence at times in the school day when children may feel vulnerable. An adult who has the time to listen to what is worrying you and maybe to help.
Safety – looking to support the school in reducing instances of anti-social behaviour
Support – available to support the school community at the direction of the school. School pastors provide uniformed teams in groups of 2 or 3 for an hour or so in locations requested by the school. In Belfast this will begin by going into the school at lunchtime. Some schemes are involved in mentoring schemes, leading assemblies and running reading clubs. There are many opportunities, with school pastors finding that once a relationship with a school is established, schools often say to them, ‘We like you … what else can you do for us?’
Belfast School Pastors is starting initially in Malone Integrated College.
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