Street Pastors have become a common sight on Friday and Saturday nights in many towns and cities in Scotland over the past decade or so. Many people within our union of churches are involved in this important ministry. I recently heard about one street pastor who gave lifesaving CPR to a member of the public while out volunteering with Street Pastors – such is the importance of this ministry of care to people on nights out.
This year, Glasgow Street Pastors celebrates 10 years of ‘being the gospel’ to people in the city centre in the wee small hours. The article below written by Stuart Crawford, Coordinator of Glasgow Street Pastors, gives more insight into the aims of the ministry.
In January 2009, trained Street Pastors began patrolling on Saturday nights in Glasgow City Centre with 50 volunteers split into 4 teams. Ten years on we have 101 Street Pastors in 8 teams covering both Friday and Saturday nights, 17 Safe Zone Pastors and 21 Prayer Pastors. Street Pastors has a simple mandate as we take the church outside its walls and that is to ‘listen, care and help’. Our desire is to ‘be the gospel’ by assisting in any way we can members of the public who may become vulnerable due to alcohol, drugs, personal issues, homelessness or who simply require a friendly face or a listening ear. By ‘being the gospel’ we are often asked, ‘why do we do this?’ which can lead to conversations about life and the Christian faith.
Recognition of our tenth year started in January with our annual ‘In Day’ at which Rev Peter Dunn from BMS was our guest speaker. In June, Sunday the 9th will be used in churches to highlight the work of Street Pastors nationally and Glasgow City Council will recognise the contribution of our volunteers with a civic reception in September. We thank God for the great things He has done over the past 10 years and look forward to welcoming new volunteers who will ‘pick up the baton’ and carry us forward into the greater things still to be done in the city.
The young lady in the photograph is Ruth Love, granddaughter of the late Rev Jim and Mrs Helen Taylor who were well known in the Baptist community.