Stuart Goldsmith reports on his work with the Street Pastors in Kettering

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The Church in action on the streets

Caring, Listening, Helping

Once or twice a month I can be found on the streets of Kettering from about 10.00pm until 3.00am (or later).

Why am I there and what am I doing?

While most sensible people are tucked up in bed getting some well deserved rest I am on the streets. Why because I believe we need to be the church in action on the street.

What is a Street Pastor? 

Street pastors are trained volunteers from different local churches who care about their community.

They patrol in teams of men and women, from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. on a Saturday night, to care for, listen to and help people who are out on the streets.

A street pastor is someone who is.

   a Christian and is part of a local church;

   concerned for society and their local community;

   willing to engage with people, whatever their perspective on life and wherever they hang out;

happy to work in a team and in collaboration with other agencies and projects, both statutory and voluntary.

I have been a Street Pastor now for just over a year. I have been on the streets of Romford in Essex and Kettering. People are out having a good time, young and not so young. We have a bit of banter with them, if they ask we tell them why we are there and share our faith.  We also get to have conversations and build up relationships with those who work those unsociable hours in the heart of Kettering whether they are the security staff on the doors of the pubs and clubs, the bar staff having a smoke at the back door or the other agencies working on the streets.

We help those who are a bit worse for wear from drink or drugs, those who are vulnerable or been isolated from their friends. We carry water, clear up glass and pick up glass bottles so they cannot be used in fights. We carry a basic first aid kit so we can help those in need. We are well known for our flip-flops for girls whose feet have given up after a few hours in 6 inches heals. We give out lollipops both as an icebreaker to start conversations but also for those who have had too much to drink, the sugar helps them sober up.

We are there to show Christianity in action not to preach.  People are searching and every night I have been out, without fail, we have at least one meaningful and spiritual conversation. It is very rewarding work and I get far more out of it than I put in. My faith is tested and examined in the early hours of a Sunday morning by people needing help or wanting to talk about Jesus and my faith.

Each city project is set up by Ascension Trust, which is the governing body behind Street Pastors, and run by a local coordinator with support from local churches and community groups, in partnership with the police, local council and other statutory agencies.

There are many more experiences and stories I can tell, in my short time of working as a Street Pastor, so if you are interested in hearing more about the work, or if you want to come out and observe what we do one night just ask me. There are also teams of Prayer Partners who pray for the Street Pastors while we are out on the streets if you are interested in being part of that vital ministry please let me know.

Stuart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Church in action on the streets

Caring, Listening, Helping

 

 

Once or twice a month I can be found on the streets of Kettering from about 10.00pm until 3.00am (or later).

 

Why am I there and what am I doing?

 

While most sensible people are tucked up in bed getting some well deserved rest I am on the streets. Why because I believe we need to be the church in action on the street.

 

What is a Street Pastor?

 

Street pastors are trained volunteers from different local churches who care about their community.

 

They patrol in teams of men and women, from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. on a Saturday night, to care for, listen to and help people who are out on the streets.

 

A street pastor is someone who is.

  • a Christian and is part of a local church;
  • concerned for society and their local community;
  • willing to engage with people, whatever their perspective on life and wherever they hang out;

happy to work in a team and in collaboration with other agencies and projects, both statutory and voluntary.

 

I have been a Street Pastor now for just over a year. I have been on the streets of Romford in Essex and Kettering. People are out having a good time, young and not so young. We have a bit of banter with them, if they ask we tell them why we are there and share our faith. We also get to have conversations and build up relationships with those who work those unsociable hours in the heart of Kettering whether they are the security staff on the doors of the pubs and clubs, the bar staff having a smoke at the back door or the other agencies working on the streets.

 

We help those who are a bit worse for wear from drink or drugs, those who are vulnerable or been isolated from their friends. We carry water, clear up glass and pick up glass bottles so they cannot be used in fights. We carry a basic first aid kit so we can help those in need. We are well known for our flip-flops for girls whose feet have given up after a few hours in 6 inches heals. We give out lollipops both as an icebreaker to start conversations but also for those who have had too much to drink, the sugar helps them sober up.

We are there to show Christianity in action not to preach. People are searching and every night I have been out, without fail, we have at least one meaningful and spiritual conversation. It is very rewarding work and I get far more out of it than I put in. My faith is tested and examined in the early hours of a Sunday morning by people needing help or wanting to talk about Jesus and my faith.

 

Each city project is set up by Ascension Trust, which is the governing body behind Street Pastors, and run by a local coordinator with support from local churches and community groups, in partnership with the police, local council and other statutory agencies.

 

There are many more experiences and stories I can tell, in my short time of working as a Street Pastor, so if you are interested in hearing more about the work, or if you want to come out and observe what we do one night just ask me. There are also teams of Prayer Partners who pray for the Street Pastors while we are out on the streets if you are interested in being part of that vital ministry please let me know.

 

Stuart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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