Could you be a Town Pastor?
Wednesday 24th October 2018
Bishop Mike has praised the volunteers who provide invaluable support helping those in need late at night in towns across Suffolk - and is calling for more volunteers to come forward.
Town Pastors are helping to calm tensions late at night when people have drunk too much alcohol and are struggling to return home from pubs and clubs. Most of the Town Pastors are Christians from local churches who work alongside police, door staff and CCTV operators with the agreement of district councils to give support, listen to problems, offer advice, water and food. Town Pastors provide non-judgemental pastoral care, irrespective of faith or background.
There are ten schemes in Suffolk – Ipswich was the first to be introduced in 2006 and now there are also Town Pastors in Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, Lowestoft, Felixstowe, Stowmarket, Woodbridge, Haverhill, Sudbury and Leiston.
Bishop Mike attended an annual gathering of Town Pastors in Woodbridge and said, ‘‘Every Friday evening two pairs of Town Pastors go out in Woodbridge and find plenty of people who need their help. At their annual gathering they spoke of the ways they have built relationships and trust during the years, helping individuals after closing time at music venues. Our Town Pastors are hugely appreciated by the police, local council and other agencies and seek to work in partnership with them. Grants have been made available to provide jackets, walkie talkies and other resources necessary to continue this vital volunteer work helping others, and making a difference.’’