Inverness Street Pastors
Street pastors are trained volunteers from local churches who care about their community and engage with people on the streets to care for them, listen to them and help them. They work together with other partners and they patrol in Inverness City Centre, Merkinch and Hilton during the day, evening and night.
Each city project is set up by the 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.
Prayer Pastors are a vital part of what Street Pastors do. A Prayer Pastor is someone with a desire to make a difference through prayer in the city they live in, and willing to invest in the lives of others.
Volunteers need to be over 18 and willing to complete training and volunteer for a patrol per month. Street Pastors have a strong ethos of professionalism mixed with a great sense of fun, as they seek to be available for God to work through them into situations that are at times deeply profound and life-changing.
Two Ness Bank members, John and Carol, are Street Pastors so read on to learn about what they do during a patrol:
"A typical pattern is for the team to meet for briefing and prayer at 9.30pm before going out onto the streets until 3.00 or 4.00 am with a break for tea or coffee.
We listen, care and help where and when needed. If a person is under the influence of drink or drugs we don’t judge, we help keep them safe and if possible ask for their mobile or help them contact some person/parent/friend to get them home safely. We chat with the no fixed abode person, spend time with them, give them a hot drink or even a burger if required. The fashion conscious ladies need flip-flops to ease their aching feet. Young men talking too much are given lollipops to stop their mouth getting them into trouble. Faith Talks - we may come upon someone in distress, may have had bad news, a broken relationship, lost a loved one recently - we chat, we give them time to talk about their situation which has to come from them, then offer to pray with them, or if they wish pray for them in the group before we finish that night. Quiet time prayer works wonders even on the streets.
As we patrol we pick up discarded bottles and broken glasses off the street as they are possible weapons.
During daytime patrols we help people find their way in the town or spiritually as well if required. We call in to various places, including Inverness Foodstuff (Ness Bank Church), in support of the work they do for those that need help in many ways.
Street Pastors are supported by Prayer Pastors who also have received thorough training. Prayer Pastors meet with us before patrol, pray with us before we go out on patrol, they continue prayer time at base camp and are in touch with us by mobile should an occasion on the street arise that needs deep concentrated prayer. Prayer Pastors meet regularly and pray for various situations in the town and wider community."
Please contact Inverness Street Pastors if you think you may be able to help, if you would like to support them or get involved:
Telephone: Mark Hadfield, 07761 293108
and you can also follow them on Facebook.