Tavistock Street Pastors

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Back in February 2009, Graham Boot-Handford and Roger Bird attended a seminar held at Devon & Cornwall Police Headquarters to hear about the work of Street Pastors.

Ascension Trust, who are the body behind Street Pastors, has developed this work nationwide.

 

 

 

The aim is for Christians to be a presence on the streets, particularly at weekends, to help and talk to people in need.

Following a presentation talk given by the Plymouth Co-ordinator, Rev. Stuart Clarke in Abbey Chapel in June, training commenced in September 2009, and the first Street Pastor duty commenced on the streets of Tavistock on 21st November, 2009. A Commissioning Service was held at St Eustachius Parish Church on December 6th, with 15 Street Pastors and 30 Prayer Pastors being commissioned.

Since then, the work has had a tremendous effect on the people of Tavistock, and has the backing of Tavistock Town Council, West Devon Borough Council, as well as the local Police.

 

 

 

 

Picture, left,  was taken at the first Commissioning service at St Eustachius Parish Church, inTavistock..

Among those present were the Deputy Town Mayor , Ass. Chief Constable Paul Netherton, West Devon Borough Council Mayor, Alison Clish-Green, as well as other representatives from the local Police force, and local churches.

 

Picture, right,  a patrol on duty on Dickensian evening in Tavistock in November

 

 

Click here for the Tavistock Street Pastors Web Page

 

A recent Commissioning service was held at Mutley Baptist church, in conjunction with Plymouth and Torpoint Street Pastors, bringing our numbers to 29 Street Pastors, and 29 Prayer Pastors. 
 

School Pastors at Tavistock College

Since September, 2012, School Pastors has also been set up to minister to Tavistock College, with the same ethos of caring, listening and helping, as well as making students feel secure.

The very successful Street Pastors, who offer help, care and a listening ear to people in need, are to extend their work to Tavistock College. Teams of church-based School Pastors will initially be walking around the perimeter of the college on a Wednesday afternoon just to be there for the youngsters, if they want to talk, with the same ethos of care and keeping students safe that the Street Pastors employ. The Pastors have been out on the streets of Tavistock on Friday and Saturday nights for almost three years and have built up a good relationship with all those involved in the late-night economy. Following an initiative from the Ascension Trust, the governing body of the Street Pastors in Tavistock, the work has now been extended to interact with the students of Tavistock College through Tavistock School Pastors. The scheme has now been running at the College for just 4 weeks and the feedback has been extremely positive. Coordinator of the scheme Roger Bird said it was not about preaching to the youngsters but being there as a friendly face and someone to talk to. ‘Unfortunately because of some family situations not all youngsters have the opportunity to share their concerns with family members. We are there to provide a listening ear.’ Street Pastors was a scheme started in 2003 in Brixton, London, following a knife attack and has the backing of the police and local councils. It was considered that it was time people came out from the churches into the community and started to take care of those in need. Now there are almost 10,000 Street Pastors in England and over the last two or three years that has extended into School Pastors.

The Principal of Tavistock College, Sarah Jones, is a firm supporter of School Pastors. We have been invited into College on various occasions, particularly when a traumatic incident has taken place, such as when a member of staff or student has died suddenly. We are then able to give support and counselling to those affected.

In September, 2015 an evening of recruitment was held and below is the message of support received from the Vice Principal.

My name is Aimee Mitchell and I am Vice Principal at Tavistock College. I am responsible for Inclusion, which includes the safety and welfare of the children. I am delighted with the impact that the School Pastors have made on the students and the ethos of the College since the project began. Our students thoroughly enjoy talking to the School Pastors and it is often students who may not be confident to talk to members of staff, who feel that they can talk. It is also great to have additional people at lunchtime who are looking out for the students. Their friendly and approachable manner has been most welcome by both the staff and the students and often students recognise the School Pastors, as many of them are also Street Pastors. The students know and recognise that the School Pastors are trusted people who can offer a listening ear and can support them and they really do value this, as do we as staff.