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Caerphilly Street Pastors

Article reproduced from the Church in Wales magazine, Croeso, Peterstide 2011 by kind permission of the editor

On Friday 20th May 2011 the Caerphilly Street Pastors Initiative was officially launched. Steve Kings, the Coordinator, talked about the need for this project in Caerphilly because of all the vulnerable people on the street: the homeless, dispossessed, those at risk from domestic violence and young people.  There is also a social drift towards the town centre at the weekends.

Street Pastor schemes elsewhere have had a significant impact on crime levels. This project was endorsed by Caerphilly Borough Council and the local police. James Fussell, representing the Council, spoke of the collaboration of the "trinity" of Street Pastors, Police and Council working together to safeguard individuals. Inspector Paul Staniforth pointed out that the vulnerable will not always approach the police; he believed that the Street Pastors scheme would help to make Caerphilly a safer place to be.

Street Pastors is an Ascension Trust led initiative and the key speaker for the evening was Rev'd Paul Rush from the Ascension Trust. He explained that the initiative began in 2003 in Brixton Baptist Church in response to an increase in knife crime, binge drinking, violence fuelled by alcohol and younger and younger people getting into negative behaviour.  The first Street Pastors went out onto the Lambeth and Hackney Streets; now there are over 6,000 Street Pastors nationally and over 300 schemes, with more launching all the time. Street Pastors are an active presence on the streets, making them safer by sweeping up glass and broken bottles, providing coffee for the homeless, and flip-flops and space blankets to those that need them. While Pastors are on the streets, prayers will be offered in a local base. Individual requests can be sent into the prayer base by text message from the Street Pastors.

Now that the scheme has been launched in Caerphilly training has begun. To be a Street Pastor you need to be over 18 (no upper age limit), a church member and able to commit to the 12 session training course, spread over a year on Saturdays. The course includes subjects such as counselling skills, drug awareness, sociology, knowing your community, roles and responsibilities and street safety. A Street Pastor team consists of at least 3 people, working each Saturday night, on a rota basis, usually from 10pm to 2am. People are also needed to provide prayer support at base while the patrol is out. If you would like to know more about Street Pastors in Caerphilly, or if you would like to get involved, please contact Steve Kings (Coordinator) (029) 2083 1099 Mobile 07970 501165.

Street Pastors in Wales

After the first Street Pastors in Wales was set up in 2006 in Wrexham, it has spread to around 20 more towns and cities in Wales. See our Street Pastors in Wales article here.

 

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