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Doncaster Street Pastors

Doncaster Street Pastors were launched on 19th September 2011 at Doncaster Mansion House in the presence of Peter Davies, the Mayor of Doncaster, Councillor Cynthia Ransome, DMBC Cabinet Member for Communities, Superintendent Bob Sanderson and Chief Inspector Ian Bint of South Yorkshire Police, together with representatives from many of the churches in the borough. Following initial training 12 street pastors were commissioned at a special service at Hall Gate United Reformed Church on 3rd December 2011. The service was led by Rev Philip Baiden, who presented each new street pastor with a copy of the New Testament. Councillor Cynthia Ransome and Chief Inspector Ian Bint presented the street pastors with their uniform caps, and leaders and representatives from numerous churches prayed over the new pastors.

From that date on, Doncaster Street Pastors have patrolled in the centre of the town every Saturday night, including when there was several inches of snow on the ground.

Here are some examples to give a flavour of the ‘incidents’ we have helped with:

  • talking with a young couple where the girl asked for prayer for herself and her mother following her father’s death
  • helping a young woman who had fallen down/collapsed, giving her water and waiting with her while her friend went for a taxi
  • assisting a young man who was sitting on the floor in Priory Walk in a comatose condition. We spent in excess of one hour helping this particular man, getting him to his feet and getting him to take water, walking him around to sober him up sufficiently to walk him to a taxi rank and to get him a taxi home.

Currently in Doncaster we have 16 commissioned street pastors working on the streets on Saturday nights, as well as Prayer Pastors based at Hall Gate United Reformed Church who pray while the teams are out on the streets.

Our street pastors, prayer pastors and management team come from a total of 16 different churches in Doncaster, and in addition we receive prayer support and financial support from many other churches, and from Mission Doncaster and the One-Heart-One-Voice network.

We receive excellent support from South Yorkshire Police, DMBC, the NHS Substance Misuse Theme Group, Doncaster Pubwatch, licencees and door security staff. We have also received financial support from South Yorkshire Police, the NHS through their Substance Misuse Theme Group, and from Diagio, a major drinks supplier.

Doncaster Prayer Pastors

Throughout the night two Prayer Pastors staff our base room at Hall Gate United Reformed Church when Street Pastors are out on patrol, from 9.30 pm until the pubs and clubs start to close – typically between 3.00 and 4.00 am.

The Prayer Pastors are in regular telephone contact with the Street Pastor Team on the streets, and receive requests for prayer for the people the Street Pastors are dealing with. They also support with prayers for the Street Pastors themselves.

Without their prayers, our task would not be as effective as it is, for we know we go out in the name of the Lord, and are constantly upheld in prayer the whole time.

A Typical Night

We are based at Hall Gate United Reformed Church in the centre of Doncaster. We meet for a briefing from the police and to pray before leaving for the streets. Our routes encompass the main pub and club areas in the town centre. We work in teams of three containing both men and women. We are in radio contact with our base room, the NHS Emergency Responder Car and with the police CCTV suite in order to respond to any incidents that may require our assistance. We look after a number of vulnerable people, give practical assistance, first aid, aim to defuse violent situations and give pastoral care. We finish our shift when the clubs close, usually between 3am and 4am, when we return to the Church to pray for those we have met that evening/morning.