Street pastors are trained volunteers from local churches. We patrol Salisbury City Centre from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and some Thursdays. There are 60 plus volunteers from 16 different churches, so most people only do one shift a month.
I became a member of Salisbury Street Pastors 3 years ago after a conversation with the a friend of mine who had been very involved in setting up Salisbury Street Pastors. Aside from telling me that I was just what they needed on the team, implying that my size would help to calm situations, in practice its the 60+ ladies who have the most impact as far as calming down high spirits. With each weekend that a team goes out they raise the profile of street pastors, and now we get more people saying “We love you guys,” as apposed to “Who are you guys?”
There is an ever increasing recognition of the Street Pastors role. So many people give us hi-5s, hugs, and shout “We love you guys,” which helps in the small hours of the morning, when feelings of “What am I doing out here?" can hit. I am blessed with a nice warm bed which reminds me of the less fortunate homeless people, who we spend time talking to and praying for.
We have had so many really good conversations with all different age groups. We are well supported by the police, door staff on the night clubs, CCTV, several club owners who supply us with bottles of water and help to reunite confused revellers with their friends. We really do feel the benefits of having prayer pastors who pray for us while we are on the streets. There appears to be an increase in homeless people sleeping rough in Salisbury and we spend time talking with and listening to them. Sometimes being asked to pray for them. I have really enjoyed the time I have spent on the streets of Salisbury, lending a helping hand or just listening.