Street Pastors get asked loads of questions on the street. Here are a collection of the frequently asked ones.
What is a street pastor?
A street pastor is a Christian who cares about his/her community. We patrol the streets of Weymouth between 10pm and 4am every Friday and Saturday night to listen, care, and help. We give out bottles of water and flip-flops and take care of anyone who is unable to look after themselves.
Are you religious?
That depends on what you mean by religious. All street pastors are Christians and attend a local church, but we tend not to see ourselves as religious. Religion is about following a set of rules in an attempt to please God, whereas the Christian faith is all about having a personal and living relationship with the creator of the universe.
Are you going to preach to me?
We do not go out on the streets to preach to anyone. We are simply out to care, listen and help. Many of the conversations that we have on the streets are about faith, but these are never initiated by us.
What is a pastor?
The word pastor means someone who cares for someone else – in the same way that a shepherd would look after his sheep and keep them from harm.
What motivates you to become a street pastor?
Every one of the street pastors you will meet on the streets is there because he/she genuinely cares about their community and wants to express their faith in a practical and non-judgemental way.
What church do you come from?
Weymouth Street Pastors do not just come from any one church, but our teams include people from a wide range of churches. In fact, volunteers from 19 churches in the area are part of our initiative.
Do you work with the police?
We are entirely separate from the police and have a completely different role. We are not there to enforce the law or be informers for the police. Our role is to provide a listening ear and genuine care for anyone that needs (and wants) it.
How much do you get paid?
Street pastors are entirely voluntary. In fact, every street pastor is required to pay for their own training and uniform. The entire organisation is run by volunteers who willingly give up their time to serve the Weymouth night-time community.
How are you funded?
Weymouth Street Pastors is funded entirely by donations from individuals and from churches. This pays for the water and flip-flops that are given out each week and also goes towards ongoing costs such as first-aid kits and publicity and running training in schools and colleges.
How long has Street Pastors been running?
We commenced in June 2008, but the original UK initiative started in London in January 2003.
How can I become a street pastor?
All street pastors are Christians who are committed to a local church. If you are interested in becoming a street pastor then contact the Street Pastor’s coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I give you a donation?
We do not take money from anyone when out on patrol, but you can donate by dropping an envelope in at any local church marked for ‘Weymouth Street Pastors’.
Pasta or pasty?
If we carried either, the answer would be “yes”. (We do have a supply of lollies though).