Exeter Street Pastors began operating in 2009, with members drawn from churches across Exeter and beyond, as a vehicle for the Church to show we care and to get out and help in practical ways such as helping get people home safely. We found acceptance with members of the public and service providers including the police, CCTV control, pubs’ and clubs’ door staff, and the council.
We walk the streets of Exeter between 10.30pm and 3.00am every Friday and Saturday night, listening to anyone who wants to offload or just to chat, helping those vulnerable due to alcohol, assisting people home safely, picking up bottles and sweeping up broken glass.
A typical encounter sees us approaching someone in apparent distress. We check whether they have the ability to contact a friend and if it becomes apparent they are vulnerable, for instance they have lost their taxi money, we offer to stay with them, give them water to help them sober up, and ensure they meet up with someone they trust. In these encounters people sometimes open up with stories of their difficult times and experiences in this broken world. If it is appropriate, we offer to pray for them.
Meanwhile, at Pastor Base at St Mary Arches church, two or three Prayer Pastors support the teams on the street, praying into situations like violent fights or lost phones. Street Pastors and Prayer Pastors can testify first-hand to the effectiveness of such prayers. One Prayer Pastor comments, “I am more blessed than I imagined by serving this ministry; my relationship with God deepens as I fellowship with others and witness God working in the lives of people on the streets of Exeter.”
We are training new Street Pastors from next February and are always pleased to welcome more Prayer Pastors.
If you are interested in more information, please contact Judith on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exeter Street Pastors and Prayer Pastors have a prayer meeting at St Leonard’s Church at 7.30pm on the 2nd Monday of each month.