Questions & Answers
Q 1. What are street pastors?
A. ‘Street Pastors’ is an inter-denominational Church response to neighbourhood problems, engaging with people on the streets and in night-time venues, to care, listen and have conversations, also offering practical help. It has seen some remarkable results, including drops in crime in areas where teams have been working.
Pioneered in London in 2003, there are now some 11,000 trained volunteers in around 250 teams around the United Kingdom – in 5 years, Devon and Cornwall have gone from 2 towns to 22 towns – Penzance being the most recent addition.
Each project is set up under guidance from the ‘Ascension Trust’, the central governing body, and is run by local church and community groups in partnership with the police and the local authority – the “Urban Trinity”.
Q 2. What do street pastors actually do?
A. A Street Pastor’s calling is to listen, care and provide practical help on a non-judgemental basis to anyone and everyone they meet. It is not to preach or evangelise but to be the Gospel and to be ready to share their faith if invited to do so.
Q 3. Are there two sorts of pastors?
A. Yes. A team of 4 Street Pastors goes out on the streets, backed up by at least 2
Prayer Pastors at the base, who keep in regular touch with the street pastors by mobile phone.
As Christians we believe in the power of prayer, God moves and changes things when we pray. So although we do not specifically offer prayer to people on the streets, the whole evening and every situation the Street Pastors come across is prayed for.
Prayer is such a vital part of ‘Street Pastors’ to the extent that the Street Pastors will not go out without Prayer Pastors being on duty at the base. “Prayer is the fuel that drives our actions.”
Another way of becoming involved in prayer is as a ‘Prayer Partner’ for an individual Street Pastor; or you could pray from your own home through a Saturday night (or part of the night) on a rota basis. We have one Home Prayer Pastor at the moment, and they are fully involved by phone, as to what is happening and what to pray for.
Q 4. Who can be a Street or Prayer Pastor?
A. You need to be over 18 (no upper age limit), committed to a local Christian church for at least 12 months, (your church does not have to be a member of CTIPA), recommended by your Pastor, Priest, Vicar, or senior person of good standing in your church, pass an enhanced DBS (formerly CRB) check, and able to commit to our training programme.
Q 5. What is the (minimum) commitment?
A. One Saturday night every 4 weeks, from 22.00 – 03.00 (with breaks). Street pastors are required to complete some mandatory training prior to being on patrol.
Q 6. Will all volunteers become pastors?
A. We will explain the commitment, policies and procedures as part of the application and selection process. During training, some may decide that it is not for them. We are still very grateful for their interest, support and for trying. All of us will have gained something.
Q 7. What about training?
A. Training consists of 12 half day sessions covering different subject areas, delivered by people with relevant experience. We try to take account of volunteer circumstances when arranging dates. Prayer pastors do not have to have all the training but are welcome to participate. Many find it helps them understand situations on the street. Some will go on to become street pastors.
Q 8. What do street pastors wear?
A. A standard uniform – polo shirt, winter or summer jacket, cap or hat – is specified by the National Street Pastors organisation and must be worn when pastors are on patrol. This makes them easily identifiable in a crowd.
Q 9. Will volunteers have to pay to be a street pastor?
A. The local management committee may be able to provide funding. Volunteers may buy their own uniform and make a contribution to training costs if they wish. Their own church or a sponsor may wish to make a donation as a measure of practical support. There is no requirement for volunteers to purchase uniform items except additional items not included in the basic kit.
Q 10. Are street pastors insured?
A. Yes, public and employer’s liability insurance is provided through the licensing agreement we have with the Ascension Trust, the central organising body.
Q 11. Which local churches are involved?
A. Penzance Street Pastors is another practical outreach project supported by ‘Churches Together in the Penzance Area’ (CTIPA). Current team members are from the local Anglican, Catholic, Light and Life, Methodist, Quaker and Shekinah churches. Your church does not need to to be a member of CTIPA for you to get involved.
Q 12. When did all this start locally?
A. The great response to a meeting in July 2012, enabled CTIPA to go ahead by signing the license agreement with the Ascension Trust, the National Street Pastors organisation. Training was arranged and is ongoing. The Commissioning Service took place on 14th December 2012 at St. Mary’s C of E in Penzance and we have been working since then. Street Pastors have been working in Camborne since 2008, Falmouth since 2009 and Truro since 2010.
Q 13. Can I contribute financially towards the running costs?
A. We have our own Bank account administered as part of Churches Together inPenzance Area, CTIPA (Registered Charity No: 1147642). Any donation is most welcome, especially regular standing orders. These can also be gift aided which enables us to recover the tax you have paid on your donation. Please e-mail or ‘phone to request Gift Aid & Standing Order forms.
To donate using your mobile phone, text PZSP11 with amount to 70070 –
example: to give £5, text PZSP11 £5
Q 14. What happens next?
A. If you are interested in anyway, we really want to hear from you soon 🙂
To contact the management committee, please e-mail email@example.com
Or call one of the co-ordinators, Vicky Howard or Karen Anderson – duty co-ordinator mobile: 07795 936455
Night Patrol: 07795 936247 (Sat 10.30pm – 03:00am)
‘Like’ us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PenzanceStreetPastors
“Preach the Gospel at all times… if necessary use words!” ~ St Francis of Assisi
“By their fruits ye shall know them” ~ from Sermon on the Mount – Matt. 7:15-20