This week’s featured organisation from the 4 Corners Networking events is the Belfast Street Pastors.
I have only heard good reports about this scheme over the last year or so that I have been aware of its operation. Quite apart from the practical assistance and care on offer, one of its strongest points of witness seems to be that the teams are made up of people from different churches — out on the streets together.
You can watch the Street Pastors in action here:
Belfast Street Pastors
Contact: Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org,
‘Belfast Street Pastors’ is Christians from different churches working together to care, listen and help people as they leave pubs and clubs on Friday and Saturday nights.
There are now 250 schemes and 12,000 volunteers in GB & Ireland (so far Belfast, Newtownabbey and Cork). We go out in teams of 3 or 4 from 11pm to 3am and listen to people, stay with them if necessary, help prevent vulnerable girls being picked up against their will, calm down anti-social behaviour, give out flip flops to girls in high heels etc. People are always amazed when they find out:
- we are all volunteers,
- we are not there to judge or preach, and
- we are from different churches working together.
Although our main current focus is the pubs and clubs, we have also helped in the Holylands area on St Patrick’s Day weekend and Townsend Street Cross-community festival. If we have enough people, we are flexible to be able to help out in different contexts.