Roving Pastors aiming to curb problems on streets

A NEW volunteer initiative to help prevent problems on the streets of Rotherham town centre will be launched tonight.

At 6 pm “Street Pastors” will be launched at the Springwell Gardens Community Centre, Doncaster Road, when partners from local churches, South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Borough Council will demonstrate their commitment to the new scheme by welcoming volunteers ready to begin their training!

Street Pastors is an inter-denominational church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and help. 

What do you think of the Street Pastors idea? Use the "write a comment" button at the top or bottom of this page to post your views.

It was pioneered in London in January 2003, by the Rev. Les Isaac, director of the Ascension Trust, and has seen remarkable results, including reductions in crime and anti-social behaviour where teams have been working.

Street Pastors are now in over 125 towns and cities across the UK with more than 2,500 Street Pastors walking the streets.  

Each city project is set up by the Ascension Trust, run by a local coordinator.  In Rotherham this will be Paul Hunt, the Pastoral Assistant of the Elim Christian Centre Church, who will have support from Ascension Trust and local churches, community groups, in partnership with the Police, the local council and other statutory agencies.

A Street Pastor is a church leader or member with a concern for society - in particular young people who feel themselves to be excluded and marginalised. The Street Pastors are willing to engage people where they are on the streets or in the pubs and clubs of the town centre.

Street Pastors will also work with fellow activists, church and community leaders, agencies and projects, both statutory and voluntary, to look at collaborative ways of working on issues affecting youth and initiatives that will build trust between them and the Street Pastors.

Each Street Pastor team consists of at least three groups of four, each of which will ideally work a minimum of one night a month, usually from 10pm to around 4am.

To be a Street Pastor you need to be over 18, to be an existing church member and able to commit to our training programme. Further information about the launch and the project is available by contacting Paul Hunt on 07866687776.