Carlisle Street Pastors
Several members of our church have been involved in Street Pastors since the initiative first came to Carlisle in 2010 - on the Management Committee, as Prayer Pastors and Street Pastors.
A team of Street Pastors goes out most Saturday nights between 10pm and 3am, patrolling the area of the city where most of the bars and clubs are situated.
A Street Pastor usually goes out on the streets as part of a group of 3 or 4 people, one night per month. Our brief is to listen, care and help. This means sharing God's love in practical ways e.g. giving out flipflops or bottles of water, giving hot food such as a "pot noodle" to a homeless person, seeing people to taxis or hotels. Sometimes we share our faith with people but only when questioned - definitely no preaching. We pick up bottles, glasses and cans which could be used as potential weapons. In all our dealings with people who may be in a vulnerable state we must be totally non-judgmental. We are not only interactive with the revellers but also with the police, doormen and women, taxi drivers etc.
For us as members of a city centre church, volunteering with Street Pastors gives us an opportunity to engage in mission in our local community. It is good to demonstrate that the church can leave the building! It is also great to work ecumenically.
Although a night on Street Pastor duty is tiring, it is rewarding and very often great fun!
Visit www.carlislestreetpastors.org.uk for more information on Street Pastors.