Who are we?

Street Pastors are an inter-denominational Church response to urban problems, engaging with people by caring, listening and talking. We are church members who are willing to offer support, practical help and a visible ministry to those who are out in the town late at night. We reassure folk who may feel vulnerable, help reduce the fear of crime, provide a listening ear and offer genuine, non-judgmental pastoral support to those who need help. We are not about preaching but about helping people – the gospel is at the heart of what we do and why we do it but not at the forefront of what we say.
Cheltenham has the third largest night time economy in the South West giving our Churches a wonderful opportunity to serve the community.

Cheltenham Street Pastors commissioned the first twenty-one pastors on 1st December 2009 and has operated successfully since then on Saturday and Saturday nights. We now have over 50 trained Street Pastors who come from 30 churches in Cheltenham and the surrounding area.

The local Police Inspector has said that “Street Pastors help to make Cheltenham town centre a safe place. They act as a safety net to pick up vulnerable people who may be casualties of the night time economy”. In addition, they said that they have no doubt that Street Pastors have made a contribution to the fall in crime in Cheltenham.

Sometimes caring, listening and helping on the streets on a Friday or Saturday night is straight forward. Calming down a tussle between night time revellers or ensuring someone safely catches their night bus home. Making sure people are in safe company, administering basic first aid and offering them water, flip flops or lollipops to help them sober up or raise their sugar levels if they have drunk too much.  People act as they do because they often have underlying problems in their lives and they don’t know how to deal with them or they are trying to block them out.

There are times when people’s lives spill out onto the streets. An argument at home, mental health challenges and homelessness. These situations are sometimes difficult to spot and challenging to engage with. Our training programme develops skills to handle such situations. Sometimes just our presence can disperse a tense situation or have a calming influence.

We patrol by walking slowly through Cheltenham town centre within the sight of the cameras, looking and observing for those who may need help or a listening ear. On some nights we can walk about 6 miles, so it’s also a good form of exercise!

That’s why we exist. Cheltenham Street Pastors patrol the town centre, caring, listening and helping anyone we encounter. We are trained to help those who may be vulnerable and in difficult situations. We seek to serve the police and the local authority and help take the strain of the incredible amount of emergency calls that are made on Friday and Saturday nights.


There are all kinds of reasons why people come in to see us… at our Safe Space; The Stable

 

  • Waiting
    ο A place to wait for a taxi or relative
    ο To meet friends if separated
  • Listening
    ο Talking to people without judgement or action
    ο Offering pastoral support or sign-posting
  • Recovery
    o A place to sit down and have a drink to sober up or receive basic first aid
    o A place to sit down and have a drink to sober up or receive basic first aid
    o Or wait while others do
  • Facilities
    o To charge their phones
  • Just…
    o to pass the time with a friendly, warm cup of tea

Prayer

Our Prayer Team provide us with vital prayer support and we are firm believers in the power of prayer.We currently have a Prayer Team of about 40 people who are linked to our teams and pray for them, either at the base or at their home. Anyone interested in our Prayer Team should contact our Prayer Coordinator via the Contacts page.

The Prayer Team also arrange a Prayer Meeting for the work of Cheltenham Street Pastors on the second Tuesday of each month at St Matthews’s church in the town centre at 10.30 am. Everyone is welcome to join us at these meetings.

We also hold Prayer Pastor coffee mornings where we can meet other Prayer Pastors and share time and testimony together with a nice big slice of cake! One of our Chaplains leads and offers encouraging thoughts on prayer and our role within Cheltenham Street Pastors.

Prayer Pastors are an integral part of our volunteer team and we’re always looking for suitable people to volunteer as Prayer pastors, so please contact our Prayer Coordinator on our contact page if you are interested in finding out more.

Prayer Pastor Coffee Morning

CSP Annual BBQ for our volunteers