Torrential rain, howling winds, sleet or snow…Nothing comes between a Street Pastor and their weekend shift! Following a team brief at Central URC in the heart of Derby’s night-club district, a team of Street Pastors are ready to walk the streets with first aid bags packed full of essentials and pockets full of spikeys*.

There isn’t a ‘typical night’ for a Street Pastor but as one team leader described, there’s always prayer, care and bandages generously supplied. The ethos of the team is to leave someone in a better situation than when they first meet them.

Sometimes the team witness violence on the streets, especially with heightened emotions following football matches or events in town, and have had to ‘talk people down’ from verbal aggression and support the Police dispersing crowds of people.

“It is hard to think of a night time economy policing operation that would not heavily rely on Street Pastors today.” (Chief Superintendent Jim Allen, Divisional Commander, South Division)

There is no age limit on vulnerability, anyone can end up there. We recently heard from a middle aged professional who was attending a night out with work colleagues and became desperately ill and needed to go to A&E.

“I want to say a massive thank you for keeping me safe on a night out in Derby. It was a first for me being in the state I was (and it will be the last). Your presence on the streets, your help and support literally saved me”

There are many opportunities to lend a listening ear and conversations often explore Christianity and end in prayers of safety, healing, encouragement and growth.

So why do they do it? Mel Leicester, who joined the team this year, sums it up perfectly:

“God was telling me to use my hands, feet and mouth to spread his word and demonstrate love to those who need it”

If you feel called to become a Street Pastor, go to our Street Pastor page here we would love to hear from you and join us for our Information Evenings at the end of February 2019.

*plastic stoppers that gives protection against your drink being spiked