In January 2010 Christians Together for Chesterfield (CTfC) decided to propose a Street Pastors initiative in Chesterfield. The proposal was quickly supported by the local police (Derbyshire Constabulary – C Division) and local authority (Chesterfield Borough Council) to form an ‘Urban Trinity’ aiming to reduce the high levels of alcohol related violent crime and anti-social behaviour adversely impacting on the Night Time Economy (NTE) of Chesterfield.
The Chesterfield Community Safety Partnership, the Chesterfield Pub Watch scheme and others within the local community safety network gave their support. Promotion of the proposal led to an open forum of CTfC with the police, council and those interested in being trained as Street Pastors.
Subsequently CTfC gained strategic and financial support from the partners, a Management Team was formed and an Street Pastor Coordinator was appointed (Jacky Kendrew).
The Chesterfield Street Pastors scheme was officially launched on 23 February 2011 by CTfC and went ‘live’ on 13 August 2011 following a Commissioning Service held in Chesterfield Parish Church (Crooked Spire) at the centre of the NTE area.
We began with 24 Street Pastors rising to 30 as others heard about their good work. They patrolled in teams, each of them usually on duty on one Saturday each month. In the last two years our numbers have declined for various covid related reasons and patrols are not possible every week. This is a great sadness to us as there is a great need for our presence out on the streets. So, we are recruiting for new volunteers to join the team.
We launched our team of 7 School Pastors in February 2014, working in one local school supporting students. The trained volunteers have taken on various roles to work alongside the excellent Pastoral Team at Parkside School. They support clubs and activities, spend time listening to children who need to talk, work on the school garden and support school activities. Very rewarding work and here too we are looking for more volunteers so we can extend our work.