Just the other week, one of our volunteers said that we ‘pay attention’ to people and it struck me that that is very much what we do in 2 ways.

With training and experience we are all the time paying attention to everyone who is out-and-about and gauging whether they are happy and safe or not so. Do we need to linger a bit longer to see if they are ok or can we walk on? We are not intrusive but might check with someone sat on a step ‘are you ok?’ We will probably get a ‘yes thanks’ or a thumbs-up but it will also be accompanied with an appreciative smile knowing that there are caring people about.

It is also a lot easier for people to unburden themselves to a stranger and a benefit of going out as a team of 3 is that whilst 1 can mind the radio and keep an eye out for other issues, 1 or 2 of the team can really use their listening skills to give someone who wants to talk their full attention.

‘Paying’ attention has a cost. It is in time spent and sometimes in emotional energy. The experience of Street Pastors however is that whatever is spent is repaid. We might go home tired but always feeling blessed from our opportunity to serve the Servant King.   AE Jan 2024