Making a positive difference in the lives of young people
Street Pastors is an inter-denominational Church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and dialogue.
It was pioneered in London in January 2003 by Rev Les Isaac, Director of the Ascension Trust, and has seen some remarkable results, including drops in crime in areas where teams have been working. There are now over 100 teams around the United Kingdom.
(Above) Mark Thomas, Coordinator of Bridgend Street Pastors, winning the the award for team leadership presented by the 'Leading Wales Consortium' on February 26th 2009.
Each city project is set up by Ascension Trust and run by a local coordinator with support from Ascension Trust and local churches and community groups, in partnership with Police, Council and other statutory agencies.
To be a Street Pastor you need to be over 18 (no upper age limit), a church member, and able to commit to a training programme designed to fully equip new Street Pastors to respond to the needs of all the people that they engage on the streets.
Training normally takes place over a period of 12 days over 5 months.
Each Street Pastor team consists of at least three groups of four, each of which will work a minimum of one night a month, usually from 10pm to around 4am.
Street Pastors in Wales began in 2006 in Wrexham. There are now around 20 projects in Wales - for the current list, and to find one near you, see http://www.streetpastors.org/our-network/united-kingdom/wales/.
If you are interested in becoming a Street Pastor, or setting up a project in your area, visit http://www.streetpastors.org/.
Another compassion ministry involved in helping people on the streets in Wales is Street Angels - see www.sa-cni.org.uk. They have projects in Carmarthen and Aberystwyth.
For a story from a church heavily involved in supporting Street Pastors in their town, see Caerphilly Street Pastors