Sunday, November 16, 2008

Street Pastors in Yeovil

Great to see the possibility of Street Pastors happening in Yeovil getting nearer to reality. The local police have been asking the church for a while to get this started, and our launch event is:

Tues 2nd December, 7.30pm in the Gateway, Yeovil.

Our prayer is to recruit around 50 people, to start sending teams of 4 onto the streets at the weekends in Yeovil from early summer 2009, starting the training at the end of January.

What are Street Pastors?
Teams of Christians taking to the streets on Friday and Saturday evenings to show the love of God in action. Street Pastors are a Christian presence in the weekend club and pub scene, offering practical help and a listening ear. They protect the vulnerable, bless strangers, and provide thousands of people with a visible expression of God’s love.

How's it being organised?
Churches in Yeovil are working together to make Street Pastors a reality in our town. There is a Management Group drawn from 4 local churches, and many others are supporting it. However, it needs help at lots of other levels:

- We need 40-50 people who are willing to offer 1 night a month in order to run Street Pastors every week.
- it costs £300 per person to train a Street Pastor, so we're looking for finance to help with those costs. Great to here at the weekend that a Somerset County Councillor for the area was putting in a substantial bid for funding for us, after having a chat with the local police.
- admin help: there will (we hope) be a lot of applications to process, and it takes quite a lot of backroom work to liase with 20 local churches, and administer a course with 50 attendees (who all need to be CRB checked, and have applications processed), and a variety of tutors and venues.

The Bigger Picture
Street Pastors are administered nationally by the Ascension Trust, and there's lots of stuff about them on the web:

- Video
Lincoln street pastors (7m, very comprehensive, we showed it a church this morning)
Kingston (London)

News reports & features
BBC news
BBC 1xtra
BBC Somerset
Daily Telegraph

Leaflets & info from local groups
Taunton newsletter - group here launched in May

there is news about local groups on the main Street Pastors website, and you can look for groups in your area.

or just Google Street Pastors - there are probably over 50 local groups, or people doing something very similar under a very similar name (!)

“As a member of the Christian Police Association and a serving officer I not only believe this will assist the police in tackling this problem but will demonstrate real Christian concern and practical support for those who find themselves involved in gangs and gun crime.”
Chief Supt. Neil Wain, Greater Manchester Police

“There are many young people who feel excluded by society. Street Pastors takes practical hope to the pavement for these individuals.”
Joel Edwards, General Director, Evangelical Alliance UK

“It’s absolutely fantastic, the job the Street Pastors are doing.” David Cameron

“extraordinary and inspiring” Boris Johnson

“I’m not scared of going out on the streets” (Peter, aged 80, new Street Pastor in Sutton. The oldest Street Pastor is 86)

If you want to get involved in Yeovil Street Pastors, send me a comment or email, or email yeovil (at) streetpastors (dot) org (dot) uk. There are leaflets in most local churches in the Yeovil area (and if you've run out, ask us for more!) and most should be displaying posters about the launch event. Best of all, come on the 2nd December, find out more, pray and sign up!

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