Street pastors are trained volunteers from local churches who care about their community.
They patrol in teams of men and women, usually from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. on a Friday and Saturday night, to care for, listen to and help people who are out on the streets.
A street pastor is someone who is…
- a Christian and is part of a local church;
- concerned for society and their local community;
- willing to engage with people, whatever their perspective on life and wherever they hang out;
- happy to work in a team and in collaboration with other agencies and projects, both statutory and voluntary.
History of Street Pastors
Street Pastors was pioneered in London in 2003 by Les Isaac.
On that first night, 18 volunteers took to the streets of Brixton – 15 women and 3 men.
Since then we have trained over 12,000 street and prayer pastors, who have played an active part in strengthening community life and working for safer streets. Currently, more than 300 towns and cities around the UK have a Street Pastors team. When you add prayer pastors, management teams and trustees, this means that there are over 20,000 volunteers in total associated with the Street Pastors network.
There are also a growing number of Street Pastors teams overseas.
As well as serving the night-time economy, the Street Pastors model is being used in daytime and community settings, for example, in parks, schools and colleges. In 2014 we started to train experienced street pastors for the role of response pastors – volunteers who provide physical and emotional support in times of crisis.
Whichever context they are in, street pastors offer reassurance, safety and support through listening, caring and helping. They work together with other partners to make communities safer.
Each city project is set up by Ascension Trust, which is the governing body behind Street Pastors, and run by a local coordinator with support from local churches and community groups, in partnership with the police, local council and other statutory agencies.
To find out about the Street Pastors Training Programme click here