Who, Where & Why?
Who and where?
Street Pastors serve their communities as modern day Good Samaritans and here in Newbury we have been looking after folk in our community since March 2012. This is mainly on Saturday nights (but also on New Years’ Eve), from 10.30pm until around 4am Sunday mornings! Our five Newbury teams work on a rota system throughout the year.
Street Pastors are a national charity organisation run by the Ascension Trust. They’re jokingly known as “the flip-flop & lollipop brigade” as we give these out to anyone who would benefit. There are around 290 groups in the U.K. alone. We do, however, do so much more then give sweets – we safely dispose of bottles, cans and broken glass but mostly we listen and help folk, caring for the vulnerable and sharing God’s love with everyone we meet. And yes, we are all Christians but we do not preach nor judge - we engage with anyone regardless of faith or no faith.
We are highly trained in many skills – First Aid, mental health, Samaritans, drug/alcohol issues, to name a few and yes, we do assist folk who have over indulged. But mostly we just listen which has enabled us to prevent two suicides - proving that listening is often an overlooked skill in the pace of modern day life.
Why do we do it?
Because we are practical Christians who wish to show and demonstrate Jesus/God’s love with our community on the streets, and that we care.
Recent true stories…. A young man grabbed my arm saying “You Street Pastors, you saved my life, you’re brilliant”; we returned a lost purse to a distraught young lady; helped some homeless gents; gave a young woman a mobile phone charger enabling her to phone for a lift home after her purse had been stolen; waited with a sick girl (and gave first aid) until an ambulance arrived. There are hundreds more stories like these just from Newbury patrols…
If this resonates with you and maybe you feel called to this work you are welcome to join us as an 'observer' on any shift - either on patrol or at base with our Prayer Pastors. Just ask Eve, Mark and Michelle, Julie, Maureen or Yvette at Glendale or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eve Hughes – Nov 2017