“Can’t believe you do it for nothing”
Street Pastors is an initiative begun around 2003 in London. Its initial vision was to reach out to young men on the streets and to bring them positive influences. It was hoped they might be drawn away from belonging to gang culture.
However, as the work developed Street Pastors began to minister to many of the night-life needs in our cities. They began to help intoxicated people and others who found themselves in a fix. As a by-product of the work, it was noticed by the authorities that crime on the streets fell when Street Pastors were present.
So now approaching the 10th anniversary, there are between 200 and 300 Street Pastor groups working all over the UK. This work is entirely voluntary. They roster patrols for Friday/Saturday nights in all the major cities as well as rural towns like Daventry.
Street Pastors began in Daventry in September 2010. They provide a patrol of 3-4 people each Friday night. They begin at around 8 pm and work until around Midnight. On very busy occasions these hours may be extended. They have a fairly standard route to patrol as the town is relatively compact. However, they do at time drive out to other areas, especially if it is known that groups of young people congregate there. Over the last 2 years they have visited Wimborne Place, the Country Park, Southbrook Estate, Grange Estate and The Headlands.
A normal patrol might consist of a visit to one of the Youth Clubs or one of the estates, then a walk around the Town Centre. They stop for a half-hour break around 9.30-10 pm at the Nightbase and then continue for the rest of the evening around the town. A common route is Bowen Square, Tesco, the Churchyard, McDonalds, Happy Chef, Casey’s, Plume of Feathers, Fridays, High Street, Wetherspoons, Sheaf Street and back to Bowen Square.
They patrol at a slow pace and chat to anyone who is around. They particularly chat to security staff or people smoking outside venues. They carry backpacks which hold various useful items including: First Aid Kit, dustpan and brush for sweeping up broken glass, bottle of water, flip-flops for girls who can’t wear high heels any longer; and the most popular item – lollipops!
Over the last 2 years they have been involved in various situations helping people:
- Helping teenagers who were very intoxicated to get home safely
- Calmed down tense situations that had the potential to become violent
- Assisted someone who had been assaulted and was unconscious
- Assisted someone who had taken an excess of drugs
- Spending time with homeless people
- Called the paramedic to an emergency situation
- Responded to people asking for prayer
- Removed bottles and other objects that had the potential to be used as weapons
- Comforted people who were bereaved
- Being a listening ear on the streets
“What can I do?”
There are folk associated with the Street Pastor work who do not feel able to patrol the streets. There is a rota of people who make drinks for the half-time Nightbase break. There is a group committed to praying for the work on a Friday night and generally for the work overall. You would be most welcome to assist in these ways. If you would like information please speak to one of the people listed at the end.
In particular you could:
- PRAY for our town and Street Pastors
- HELP at the Nightbase
- OBSERVE what we do by joining us for a short time one evening.
David Walker (Methodist) – 01327 871755
Peter Mattacola (Holy Cross)
Maggie Bridgens (Vineyard Church)
Celia Carlill (Vineyard Church)
Anita Flintoft (United Reformed Church)
Emma Read (Long Buckby Baptist)
Mike Cashmore (Long Buckby Baptist)
This is a promotional video demonstrating the work of Street Pastors: