Street Pastors

09 May 2023

Street Pastors celebrated its 20th birthday last month. Street Pastors bring together people from across the Church, all sharing the same values of selflessness, help and care for those in need. They offer pastoral support and community welfare.

Here we share the stories of six Methodists who are Street Pastors, their beliefs, commitments and achievements. 


viv-street-pastorViv Higgins, Stamford, Street Pastor for 6 years

“I used to take detours to avoid noisy groups of young people on the street, until, at a Churches Together meeting, the organiser of City Angels gave a presentation. I was moved and joined the street team.

Every time we go out we are aware that God is with us leading our steps. We see amazing demonstrations of the importance and power of prayer. As one of the nightclubs was closing one night, the atmosphere was beginning to get aggressive. A police car pulled up and was instantly surrounded by the crowd. We phoned our prayer pastor and within a couple of minutes, most people had moved on, leaving the streets quiet.

We also work closely with door staff, police and CCTV to help distressed folk when appropriate. Once we helped a lady intoxicated to walk home. Although it took us away from the town centre, it meant we were there when she passed out and were able to get her safely home. God was leading us and the doormen that night to ensure a potentially vulnerable person got safely home.”


judith-street-pastorJudith Wade, Stamford, Street Pastor for 7 years

“I am now 81. Forty years ago, I struggled to walk 500 yards. After many years of prayer, and God’s protection and guidance, I had four operations and can now serve both God and our Community. Now my grandchildren love to tell their friends ‘My Grandma goes out into the town until 3.00 am in the morning helping others!’

Stamford is a small town and we are welcomed and accepted as ‘people who will help’. We sweep up broken glass from bottles and glasses to protect people and prevent cut feet. We offer flip-flops as alternative footwear, and bottled water where it is needed. For the younger people, the best thing is the lollies, we always have them in our pockets! We ring in to the Prayer Pastors who support us back at the church when we come across situations where we need to seek God’s guidance even more. We experienced many miracles as God unfolds answers and people, to be there for us.


rosalind-street-pastorRosalind Boxall, Sutton, Street Pastor for 2 years

“When I retired from my job as an Occupational Therapist I wanted to use my problem-solving skills in a voluntary role. The patrols go out on Friday and Saturday afternoons and evenings and involve Christians from many local churches. At the base, we check that our rucksacks have water, a first aid kit, warm socks, a hat, gloves and a flask of hot drinks for anyone in need. We call the police duty officer and radio the local security team to inform them we'll be out in the High Street and most importantly we pray together, asking God to protect us and guide us to those who need to speak to us.

Once, outside the rail station, a man holding a beer can was persisting in talking to a group of teenage girls who appeared nervous. We engaged him in conversation and the girls were relieved to move away.”


paul-street-pastorPaul Blackett, Preston, Street Pastor for 10 years

“The possibility of complete strangers asking me about my faith at 1.00am terrified me when I first joined the Street Pastors! Yet, as the years have gone by I have learned to rely on the Holy Spirit to give me the words to say to those hurting or curious on the street. It might be a kind word to a homeless person, or a chat with a bereaved father. It might be a deep theological question!

We never know quite what to expect each night. Through the giving of time, we give value to those we meet. Through the offer of a hot drink and chocolate, we show love. In befriending the lost and charging mobile phones, we reunite people.

I never thought I’d feel comfortable praying with a stranger in the drizzle at 2.00am; talking about my faith on my knees with a homeless man, or giving a new testament to a drug dealer, but here I am, 10 years doing just that. Our God is an awesome God!”


Doris Vaughn, Newbury, Street Pastor for 13 years

“Our initiative is a Churches Together one, with three Newbury Methodist Street Pastors and one Prayer Pastor. We have helped at Newbury Race Course, Reading Festival and Henley Regatta as well as our usual Saturday evening shifts. We are well supported in our opening devotions before going on shift by the church leaders.

We count it a privilege to minister to the night-time economy in this way and have a great working relationship with the police, door staff and taxi drivers etc. As well as the opportunity of sharing our faith and showing Christ's love in action we have fun. When on duty on at 2.30am on Easter Sunday morning I had the opportunity to have a great conversation with a young man about the authenticity of the Bible and the Resurrection.”


Claire Pearce, Winchester, Street Pastor for 8 years

“To me, being a Street Pastor, means being the hands and feet of Jesus in my local area. It sounds very worthy but is where I believe Jesus would be and this is where being a Street Pastor fits with the Methodist way of life, in caring for people, being open, serving and giving us the chance to tell others and share our faith.

It is a chance to celebrate with people who are out celebrating, talk to the lonely, help the vulnerable and reassure the anxious. There has not been a single patrol where the team and I have felt that our time was wasted, some are less eventful than others but every time we go out, we can see the power of prayer over the city and feel that we have made a difference.

If there is a local Street Pastor team near you I would recommend that you explore ways to get involved, go out for an evening as an observer, hold them in prayer or fundraise and consider joining this amazing initiative as the benefits you will gain far outweigh the cost of an evening given up once a month.”