We’ve been interviewing some of our volunteer Street Pastors to hear about what being a Street Pastor is really like. This week, we spoke to one of our Street Pastors who has been with us for a while.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I am a retired Insurance Director. I play guitar, and am married with two adult children. I like to travel extensively.
How long have you been involved with Chester Street Pastors?
5 or 6 years.
What made you decide to become a Street Pastor?
I saw it as a way to “live the word”. To try hard to act towards others as Jesus would have done.
What skills or abilities do you have that help you as a Street Pastor?
Having worked as a Samaritan I learned to listen, and to be absolutely non-judgemental. To recognise the complexities of drug and alcohol addiction, the homeless, and mental illnesses. To appreciate and employ the power of prayer to meet the challenges of the night-time economy.
These skills and more are enhanced by the regular training organised for Street Pastors.
What’s your favourite thing about being a Street Pastor?
Meeting other Christians from a multi-denominational background.
Working with them as a team, and in the knowledge that the Lord is with us, to face the unknowns of each patrol’s challenges; the difficulties, the traumas, the sadness and the joys.
Tell us about one of your best experiences as a Street Pastor, for example a night where you feel like you really made an impact on someone’s life, or helped someone:
My first experience with a patrol as a Street Pastor Observer (i.e. before I became a Street Pastor) led us to a young girl who was suicidal. How amazing that as a recently retired Samaritan, I should find myself in a situation where I felt able to contribute.
Tell us about an experience you have been involved with or seen, where without Chester Street Pastors, the outcome could have been very different:
Quite often the protection of vulnerable person(s). For example, a lone intoxicated female who had been deserted by friends now being followed by three predatory males. We helped her to sober up, and waited until she was collected by parents.
What would you say to someone who was thinking about becoming a Street Pastor?
Find out as much as you can about what they do and why. Then pray about it, and go where the Lord leads you.
If you’d like to find out more about getting involved with Chester Street Pastors, or if you’d like to try it out and join us for a shift as an observer, get in touch with us here!