Canterbury Street Pastors
Annual Report -2023
Personnel continues to be stable, although we have had a few losses to the team due to various reasons, God still provides enough people to keep going and being present on the streets of Canterbury. With still an average of between 15-20 Street Pastors and 5-6 Prayer Pastors.
We have now added 2 new trustees to help up. So, we now have 5 trustees on board.
Last October (2022) we trialled a new shift pattern for the patrols. Meeting at an earlier time of 8.30pm and going out on patrol by around 9pm till 2am. It has seen an increase in encounters and Faith chats, but we will review it as the warmer weather comes around the corner.
We were sad of the loss of Maureen Brunt, one of our Dear Street Pastors, who served both Herne Bay and Canterbury. She will be remembered fondly.
2022 saw a good number of visits to the churches of Canterbury, once churches were able to meet again in person and worship together. We reached around 12 different churches with varied response. It was a great experience to see other fellowships within the Canterbury Area. We are looking to go back out to churches again this year and visit new churches we haven’t reached. We are grateful for the support churches have given us in prayer, finances, and personnel.
This last year has been a busy and fruitful year for us.
Back in Mar-April, we applied for the ‘Safer Street’ funding given out by the Home Office. Organised By Kent Police. The remit being the reduction of the Violence Against Women And Girls (VAWG) as Part of the Canterbury Community safety Partnership, there was a joint bid put in for 10 different projects/ initiatives. With a grand total of around £700,000. Canterbury Street Pastors were awarded around £17,000 for our part of the bid. This is for 18 month. Match funded with our volunteers and leadership team.
This has enabled us to get new Supplies and Equipment and Marketing, alongside enough funds to recruit 10 new volunteers. This pays for training, uniforms and additional training. We were also able to employ a new engagement officer, to assist with recruitment, funding, and marketing and assisting the trustees and Coordinator. In December we were able to employ Helen Jones as our new Engagement officer. She has become a valuable part of the team.
This funding will enable us to increase patrol sizes and hopefully put out 2 teams on a Saturday night to cover both early and later times. As the city grows with new developments on the fringes on the city centre, we hope to cover a wider city range.
With this bid funding, we have got new compatriots in the community. Being apart of the Community Safety Partnership and the Purple Flag accreditation ( which awards cities for the safe night time economies, of which Canterbury has now been awarded for the 11th year in a row. There is a Best bar none scheme in the city that monitors and awards the pubs and clubs on their safety and due diligence. This has meant Canterbury Street Pastors are in the midst of these groups and continue to be a constant presence in the City. Put another way, we are keeping God in the middle of the night time economy. We are in the midst of keeping Canterbury safe on a Saturday night.
We also attend the freshers fayres at the 3 universities and attend the community hubs in the city, put on by the Safety partnership, universities and other partners.
The Police and Council speak highly of us and our involvement. As A Safer Streets project, we are able to be a part the new safe zone app and new Safer Streets Partners website. We are constant and present in the community and Remain focused in keeping Christ in the picture as we continue to be a witness.
2023 and beyond
We are hopefully building a bigger and better organisation, through the hard work of the whole team. From the team patrols to the Prayer support; from the coordinator to the trustees and leadership team. From church support to Community engagement. Since lockdown we have hopefully built a firm foundation on which to build on. With extra funding to help build the team of tomorrow, we hope to keep God on the streets through the team and give a helping hand, a listing ear and a strong shoulder. We are excited for the future of the organisation and we continue to look for people to walk that journey with us; with so many different roles and ways to get involved.
Contact – Andrew Pantling, Coordinator, Canterbury Street Pastors. firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!