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Stowmarket Town Pastors

A friendly, visible Christian presence in the town centre on Friday nights.

Stowmarket Town Pastors

A friendly, visible Christian presence in the town centre on Friday nights.

Stowmarket Town Pastors

Stowmarket at night

A friendly, visible Christian presence on the streets on Friday nights.

Home

The Town Pastors initiative is a Christian response to the problems which can develop in the town centre at night. It is a voluntary, independent, interdenominational project, engaging with people on the streets to listen, care and offer practical help in a non-judgemental way, working as part of team with the police and Stowmarket Town Council.

Street pastors

Home

The Town Pastors initiative is a Christian response to the problems which can develop in the town centre at night. It is a voluntary, independent, interdenominational project, engaging with people on the streets to listen, care and offer practical help in a non-judgemental way, working as part of team with the police and Stowmarket Town Council.

Street pastors

“I’ve seen first hand the excellent work of the Town Pastors, and am overwhelmed by their commitment … the assistance and advice given by them clearly has a very positive effect in helping to keep our towns safe on Fridays and Saturdays.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner

About Us

Town Pastors have been operating in Stowmarket since 2009, providing a friendly, visible Christian presence in the town centre from 8pm to midnight on Friday evenings. Two or more fully equipped volunteers go out each time, with home-based prayer support, plus backup from a team at our base in town.

Pastors

Our teams are always comprised of at least one male and one female member, and don’t operate without prayer and on-site support. They are trained in subjects such as conflict management, first aid, child protection, and drug and alcohol awareness. They are uniformed, monitored by CCTV, and connected to the Townlink radio system.

Base Team

The base team keeps in touch with the pastors and prayer supporters throughout the shift. Its members also provide refreshments and additional prayer, and will take part in the de-brief at the end of the night, arranging for any follow-up action which might be necessary.

Prayer Team

The home prayer support is vital, with a rota ensuring that there is cover for the whole time that the pastors are on the street. Members commit to praying for an hour at a time, and the base team keeps in touch, providing updates about any situation which requires specific prayer.

Town pastors
  • Looking out for and supporting the vulnerable.

  • Giving assistance where appropriate.

  • Providing a friendly presence and care, so that people can enjoy their night out in confidence and safety.

  • Helping to defuse volatile situations.

  • Being available to people as listeners.

  • Encouraging safe and responsible behaviour.

  • Fostering good relationships between the public, the emergency services, and traders, including licensed premises and door staff, and voluntary agencies.

“The Town Pastors initiative is unique in its contribution to community life, providing a listening ear, and supporting and caring for potentially vulnerable people in our towns at night.”

The Right Reverend Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich

Get Involved

Apply

If you’re interested in becoming part of the team, we’d love to hear from you. You’ll need to be:

  • Over 18.

  • A Christian who is associated with a local church.

  • Able to work cooperatively as part of a team.

  • Willing to do the training needed for the role you’d like to apply for.

  • Available for one night per month on average.

Please fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you very quickly.

We’re currently especially keen to recruit new base team members.

“Amazing what you do. You support the community. You make a difference.”

Wetherspoons – Willow Tree pub door staff

Links – Help & Advice

Childline

https://www.childline.org.uk

or call 0800 1111

Childline website

Focus 12

Drug & alcohol centre

https://www.focus12.co.uk

or call 01284 701702

Focus 12 website

Suffolk Rape Crisis

http://www.suffolkrapecrisis.org.uk

or call 0800 0850520

Suffolk Rape Crisis website

The Samaritans

http://www.samaritans.org

or call 116 123

The Samaritans website

Victim Support

https://www.victimsupport.org.uk

or call 0808 1689111

Victim Support website

Suffolk Social Services

Suffolk Social Services website

Anglia Care Trust

Domestic abuse

http://www.angliacaretrust.org.uk

or call 0800 9775690

The Anglia Care Trust website

Ipswich Town Pastors

The Ipswich Town Pastors website

b-eat

Eating disorders

https://www.b-eat.co.uk

or call 0808 801 0677 

beat website

“We used to think you were the ‘Town Pasties!” You are the friendly faces, always helpful, older, willing to have a chat – and it’s not all about the lollies! We like talking to the pastors.”

Stowmarket young people

Thanks

Although the Town Pastors initiative is run by volunteers, we couldn’t continue to operate without the generous financial contributions or practical support provided by these people and organisations:

  • Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner.

  • Stowmarket Town Council.

  • Lions Club of Stowmarket & District.

  • St Peter & St Mary’s Parish Church.

  • The Salvation Army, Stowmarket.

Stow market town logos

We’re also grateful to other corporate and individual donors, who have given generously and are helping to keep this work going.

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood.

John 1 vs 14 – The Message Bible

Contact Us

If you’d like to know more about the Town Pastors, or the Christian faith, please drop us a line here:

Stowmarket Town Pastors

C/O St Peter & St Mary’s Church,

Station Road West,

Stowmarket,

Suffolk

IP14 1ES

If you’d like to make a financial contribution to our work, please send it to the address shown above – thank you.