STREET PASTORS – THE CHURCH IN ACTION ON THE STREETS
Do you worry about young people out on the town?
Are you concerned about the homeless people on the streets of Manchester?
Do you have a heart for the community?
Would you like to make a difference but can’t think how?
If you answer yes to any or all of these then you can make a difference, as a Street Pastor, taking God’s love out of the church and on to the streets.
I imagine you’re thinking “what do Street Pastors actually do?” Well here’s a quick rundown to whet your appetite…… and maybe, could you see yourself doing this?
There are 10 teams within the Greater Manchester area and each team covers a specific area: for example Bury, Manchester City Centre or Rusholme/Fallowfield.
A patrol consists of a minimum of 3 Street Pastors and would typically last about 4 hours. For the Manchester South team which covers Rusholme/Fallowfield this is between 10pm Friday until 2am Saturday with occasional time changes such as 8pm to midnight or midnight to 4am.
A typical Manchester South patrol starts in Rusholme on the Curry Mile. We meet and talk to homeless people and usually carry a supply of hats, gloves, socks and underwear to hand out if needed. We will also engage with some of the Muslim shopkeepers and charity collectors and in fact anyone who wants to talk to us.
Leaving the Curry Mile behind us we head towards the University, usually timing our arrival as people are leaving Manchester Academy after an event. We watch as people make their way home and make sure no one vulnerable is left on their own. Again we chat with anyone who wants to talk to us. We also carry water for people who may have drunk too much, and flip-flops for the girls who take off their high heels to walk home - barefoot on the pavements isn’t generally a good idea.
As the crowds disperse we walk back to the Curry Mile to repeat the first part of the patrol then head down to Fallowfield and find somewhere for a coffee break.
Feeling refreshed after a coffee we head out into Fallowfield, an area with a large student population. As we patrol, the clubs and pubs in the area are closing so we again watch as people disperse and make their way home, making sure vulnerable people are safe.
After the patrol we pray for those we have met and thank God for the privilege of serving others.
During all of this we also collect bottles and glasses left in the streets and dispose of them; this removes what could be dangerous weapons, helping the streets to be a safer place.
If you would like more information, please catch me at church on a Sunday morning or contact me.
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