Street Pastors – helping the community

Street Pastors helping a man


In Peckham Square, we met Peter.* Peter used to be a probation officer, and through his work had acted as an ‘informer’ in the disruption of some drug dealers. He was therefore unpopular in some circles. Also recently divorced, he told us he had turned to drink. He told one of the team that he had received a phone call from somebody he didn’t know but who knew everything about him – they instructed him to meet them in Peckham Square that evening. The Square was empty except for us and him.

As we were talking a car with blacked out windows pulled up nearby, evidently its occupants were watching Peter. Clear that there was to be an attempt on Peter’s life, we stayed with him.

Two other street pastors were engaged in conversation with another gentleman, but they politely cut that conversation short and we all left Peckham Square with Peter, keeping him in the middle of us. Together we walked towards his house, talking all the way. Back in Peckham Square, Peter had said that if this was his time to die then he didn’t mind.

When we arrived at his door, Peter said that he had realised that life was worth something. We spoke for a while longer before praying together. One of the team shared with Peter that God loved him and had a plan for his life, and that the plan wasn’t for him to take a bullet but for him to live his life to the full and be the best that he can be. We gave him a Street Pastors card, took his phone number and agreed to keep in contact. Peter was incredibly grateful and kept saying that if he hadn’t met the Street Pastors that evening he’d be dead.

*Names have been changed.

Street Pastors is an interdenominational church response to the problems of urban society, which since 2003 has trained over 7,000 volunteer street pastors in the UK and around the world. Teams of volunteer street pastors go out on the streets of their communities between the hours of 10pm and 4am to offer practical help, a reassuring presence and a listening ear. Street Pastors is an initiative of Ascension Trust. Established in 1993, the Trust desires to see Christians working effectively with their local churches, community and society.

Photo: Street Pastors. [Photo credit: Tim Abbott]