“Street Pastors is about Christians rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in practically responding to the problems of crime and safety. They are like beacons on our streets and I want to see them shining brightly in every constituency.”
David Burrowes, Patron of Ascension Trust
Manchester North Street Pastors was established in 2008 and have had a weekly presence in the areas of Harpurhey and Moston since then. When national statistics first calculated the most deprived areas back in 2000, our community of Harpurhey was the worst, today there have been many improvements but still we are number 8 within a national league table of the poorest areas in the country. With such deprivation comes all other social and economic problems, including high unemployment and high crime. In 2013 there was a BBC Three document/drama called ‘People Like Us’. I am glad to say it did not tell the full and positive picture of what life is really like.
We are a community team which means we start earlier than most of the town/city centre teams, but it also means we are tucked up in bed by midnight! Being a community team over the years we have got to know people on a regular basis, being there for them through the good times and the bad. When we first started we could not find anyone who had a positive word to say about Harpurhey and they did not think we would last more than six months, now six years on there are a lot more positive voices and we are an established part of the night life.
We are only a small team of 12 street pastors, but we have become well known in all the pubs, takeaways and street corners, with a lot of respect from the local community, young and old alike. There is always plenty to do in a night, opportunities to help people and be there for them as well having God filled conversation that they start as well as requests for prayers. It is really taking the church onto the street.
If you would like to know more about the Harpurhey and Moston community team of street pastors, then contact our coordinator Derek Urhoghide (07751693708 or email manchesternorth@streetpastors.