The deployment of Street Pastors has become something of a phenomenon since the initiative started ten years ago, with 10,000 now trained in the UK across more than 270 locations. This book charts the growth, explains the rationale and gives examples of the impact its volunteers are having.
Part one gives a description of the Street Pastors: groups of uniformed Christians who serve their towns and cities, typically between 11pm-3am at weekends, when trouble connected with pubs and nightclubs is at its peak. Part two gives a brief biography of Street Pastors’ founder Les Isaac, who came to faith during his teens.
Part three explores how the network’s relationships with police forces and local councils are flourishing, while part four highlights how the scheme has paved the way for other initiatives, such as School Pastors, to develop. The chapters are peppered with vignettes of people who work as Street Pastors or have encountered them in some way.
It’s encouraging to read about the initial and continuing challenges that Street Pastors face, and how they have changed the way many view the Church. The book outlines the early reluctance of the police and local councils to entertain the idea, partly because they were suspicious that it would be an excuse to preach.
All parties seem pleasantly surprised, however, by the impact the Street Pastors are having on the communities in which they work; with crime reduced, significant problems averted and the emergency services freed up to focus on more critical areas.
ANDY PECK is a tutor at CWR