Meeting aims to set up Street Pastors scheme in Peterhead

A MEETING is being held at Peterhead’s Trinity Church tonight (Tuesday), in a bid to establish a Street Pastor scheme in the town.

Interested parties from churches throughout the town are invited to go along at 7.30pm to find out more about what is involved, allowing organisers to gauge the level of interest.

The Street Pastors scheme is already popular in England and is growing in stature in Scotland, and a successful scheme already operates in Aberdeen.

It is now hoped that a scheme can be established in the Blue Toon, with volunteers being sought to help get it off the ground.

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 some 9,000 trained volunteers in around 250 teams throughout the United Kingdom.

Each project is set up by Ascension Trust and run by a local co-ordinator with support from Ascension Trust and local churches and community groups, in partnership with Police, council and other statutory agencies.

As the Street Pastor gets to know people in the community he/she will find out their needs are and what can be done to help.

A presence of Street Pastors will earn credibility in the community, so that people know that the Church is there for them in a practical way.

The role is not about preaching heaven and hell, but one of listening, caring and helping - working in an unconditional way

To be a Street Pastor you need to be over 18 (no upper age limit), a church member and able to commit to the training programme.

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

If you are interested in hearing more about the Street Pastor scheme, you are welcome to go along to tonight’s meeting.