The church in action on the streets of Southport

What are Street Pastors?

The Street Pastors scheme is a Church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and dialogue. It was pioneered in London in January 2003 by Rev Les Isaac, Director of the Ascension Trust, and has seen some remarkable results, including dramatic drops in crime in areas where teams have been working.

Each local project is set up by Ascension Trust and run by a local coordinator with support from Ascension Trust as well as local churches and community groups, in partnership with Police, Council and other statutory agencies.

Southport Evangelical Churches Together operates the Street Pastors scheme in our town. Local volunteers from our leading churches, including Lakeside Elim, Christ Church, Community Church, Shoreline, Leyland Road Methodist & St James undergo thorough training before going out on the streets.

here tocare…

What do Street Pastors do?

Southport is a hive of activity! On any given Friday or Saturday night, the town is teeming with up to 15,000 people. But when the bars, pubs and clubs turn out, it can sometimes be a time of tension and tears on the streets. During these periods (10pm – 3am) we deploy a team of Street Pastors, focusing on Southport’s known hotspots.

The teams of 4-5 (including both men and women) look to help people with anything from finding a taxi to assisting those worse for wear on drink/drugs, even helping to diffuse arguments occasionally. As our Street Pastors get to know people in the community, they find out their needs and what can be done to help. Despite the title pastoral, the role is not about preaching, but one of listening, caring and helping and working in an unconditional way.

Does it work?

Yes! we’ve already seen a reduction in anti-social behaviour in Southport. In London, where schemes have been running for much longer, they have seen massive drops in street crime in areas where Street Pastors operate. This pattern is reflected across the country wherever partnership and prayer result in the presence of Street Pastors.

How can you support the Southport Street Pastors Project?

1. By becoming a Street Pastor

We are always on the lookout for more people to go through the required training to become a Street Pastor. If this is something you would like to consider, please in the first instance talk to your Pastor and then contact either Elizabeth Wallbank – 07753 790101 or Emma Birkbeck – 07809 522005 to discuss this further.

2. By Praying!

Prayer plays a huge part in the success of this project and to have a dedicated team of people who will commit to praying for the Street Pastors each night they’re on the streets will be invaluable.

3. By Giving!

There are a number of financial requirements in order to keep this project running and up until now we have been fortunate to obtain some grants. However, with cuts in funding taking place, regular giving by committed Christians will help in ensuring the long term sustainability of this project. If you can support in this way, please contact Rev Peter Knight (Treasurer) on 01704 536648.

Southport Street Pastors
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