Guardian angels set for take-off

Daily Echo: A Street Pastor A Street Pastor

A CASH windfall means that a church-driven plan to send a host of “guardian angels” on to Eastleigh’s town centre streets can now get off the ground.

Eastleigh Street Pastors will be following in the footsteps of their counterparts at Fair Oak, where the initiative has led to a dramatic drop in crime.

Violence, theft, criminal damage and rowdy behaviour have all been slashed since the street pastors hit the village’s streets.

Chris Harvey, chairman of the Eastleigh Street Pastors management committee, said a vision for street pastors was raised with church leaders 18 months ago.

Now that dream is set to become a reality after donations of £5,000 from the borough council’s Safer Communities Fund and £3,000 from Hampshire Constabulary.

Chris said: “These two donations alone mean work can start immediately on arranging the training.”

He said the support from the community had been overwhelming, with cash also coming from the churches. Eastleigh now has 27 people who are keen to begin the street pastor training in April, with further people interested in being prayer pastors.

It is hoped that the first group of street pastors will step out in Eastleigh during the summer.

They will be out and about on Friday nights, making sure that people get home safely from pubs and clubs.

The launch of the Eastleigh Street Pastors was celebrated at a highprofile event at the Litten Tree, where guests included church members, police officers, councillors and Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne.

Keynote speaker was Les Isaac, of the Ascension Trust, pioneers of the street pastors movement, which has now gone global.

He said that he felt God was challenging Christians to be real and relevant in communities and he said the work of the street pastors was about acting with compassion for fellow human beings.

With street pastors as old as 86, the scheme was also bridging the generation gap: “Young people are so impressed to see older people out on the streets caring for them,” he added.

An indication that they had been accepted by the community was that, in six years, not one street pastor had been hurt.

Mr Isaac emphasised that Street Pastors needed to work in partnership with local authorities on ensuring that those who needed help received it.

If you would like to know more, ring Steve Smallwood on 0753 8054483 or e-mail eastleigh@streetpastors.org.uk.

Comments (10)

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10:40am Sun 8 Feb 09

Whiters says...

"Violence, theft, criminal damage and rowdy behaviour have all been slashed since the street pastors hit the village’s streets."

Great work the street angels are a credit to themselves and their community.

By why are the police not on the streets serving this function??
"Violence, theft, criminal damage and rowdy behaviour have all been slashed since the street pastors hit the village’s streets." Great work the street angels are a credit to themselves and their community. By why are the police not on the streets serving this function?? Whiters
  • Score: 0

11:31am Sun 8 Feb 09

MR Southampton says...

At the end of the day they are just a load of god botherers doing Jesus work for him.

Their time would be better served asking themselves why they feel the need for a non-existent god in 2009.
At the end of the day they are just a load of god botherers doing Jesus work for him. Their time would be better served asking themselves why they feel the need for a non-existent god in 2009. MR Southampton
  • Score: 0

1:28pm Sun 8 Feb 09

Georgem says...

At the end of the day they are just a load of god botherers doing Jesus work for him.


They're not, in fact, god botherers at all. I'm far from a Christian, but I am good friends with someone heavily involved with the street pastor initiative, and their religion is merely the reason they want to do this job, and nothing more. They don't preach to people, they don't even bring up the subject of faith or religion, it's against the rules they've set themselves. They're merely community-minded people who want to help others. Quite why you should want to ridicule people for that is beyond me. Look into the scheme a bit further, and you'll see it's a million miles removed from the old image of sandal-wearing beardies wandering around telling everyone Jesus loves them.

And I re-iterate: I'm in no way religious, attached to a church, or a "god botherer" - far from it
[quote]At the end of the day they are just a load of god botherers doing Jesus work for him.[/quote] They're not, in fact, god botherers at all. I'm far from a Christian, but I am good friends with someone heavily involved with the street pastor initiative, and their religion is merely the reason they want to do this job, and nothing more. They don't preach to people, they don't even bring up the subject of faith or religion, it's against the rules they've set themselves. They're merely community-minded people who want to help others. Quite why you should want to ridicule people for that is beyond me. Look into the scheme a bit further, and you'll see it's a million miles removed from the old image of sandal-wearing beardies wandering around telling everyone Jesus loves them. And I re-iterate: I'm in no way religious, attached to a church, or a "god botherer" - far from it Georgem
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Sun 8 Feb 09

Georgem says...

Whiters wrote:
"Violence, theft, criminal damage and rowdy behaviour have all been slashed since the street pastors hit the village’s streets."

Great work the street angels are a credit to themselves and their community.

By why are the police not on the streets serving this function??
What function? Isn't it up to all of us to help slash crime?
[quote][p][bold]Whiters[/bold] wrote: "Violence, theft, criminal damage and rowdy behaviour have all been slashed since the street pastors hit the village’s streets." Great work the street angels are a credit to themselves and their community. By why are the police not on the streets serving this function?? [/p][/quote]What function? Isn't it up to all of us to help slash crime? Georgem
  • Score: 0

6:14pm Sun 8 Feb 09

King Mush says...

Georgem wrote:
Whiters wrote: "Violence, theft, criminal damage and rowdy behaviour have all been slashed since the street pastors hit the village’s streets." Great work the street angels are a credit to themselves and their community. By why are the police not on the streets serving this function??
What function? Isn't it up to all of us to help slash crime?
Trouble is Georgem - most of us dearly want to help but often afraid of retribution by the scumbags all around us. If anyone is capable then by all means dish out some summary 'justice' if possible.


If you report any crime then the chances of police action are fairly low. If you act as a witness then high risk of backlash.

If any scum gets to court then he/she will be laughing as the inevitable slap on the wrist is doled out by an anonymous judge.

The NY Guardian Angels did great at helping clean up their city plus the Zero Tolerance theme. Why not here?

Good luck to these people and combined with a Neighbourhood Watch scheme then maybe it will help.

Current 'recession' points to more crime although much of it is drug-related and always will be.

Great Britain - R.I.P.
[quote][p][bold]Georgem[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Whiters[/bold] wrote: "Violence, theft, criminal damage and rowdy behaviour have all been slashed since the street pastors hit the village’s streets." Great work the street angels are a credit to themselves and their community. By why are the police not on the streets serving this function?? [/p][/quote]What function? Isn't it up to all of us to help slash crime?[/p][/quote]Trouble is Georgem - most of us dearly want to help but often afraid of retribution by the scumbags all around us. If anyone is capable then by all means dish out some summary 'justice' if possible. If you report any crime then the chances of police action are fairly low. If you act as a witness then high risk of backlash. If any scum gets to court then he/she will be laughing as the inevitable slap on the wrist is doled out by an anonymous judge. The NY Guardian Angels did great at helping clean up their city plus the Zero Tolerance theme. Why not here? Good luck to these people and combined with a Neighbourhood Watch scheme then maybe it will help. Current 'recession' points to more crime although much of it is drug-related and always will be. Great Britain - R.I.P. King Mush
  • Score: 0

7:37pm Sun 8 Feb 09

Georgem says...

Thing is, KM, street pastors aren't some crime-busting team, like the guardian angels. That's not the point. Preventing crime doesn't begin and end with people being stopped in the process of a crime, does it? These people aim to be a recognised face in the communities they're working in, and to gain trust that way, which can go a long way to preventing certain types of crime. I know it sounds a bit laughable and open to ridicule, but if it can make a difference in somewhere like Brixton (which it has) it can work here. Simply saying "Great Britain - R.I.P" is somewhat fatalistic, no?
Thing is, KM, street pastors aren't some crime-busting team, like the guardian angels. That's not the point. Preventing crime doesn't begin and end with people being stopped in the process of a crime, does it? These people aim to be a recognised face in the communities they're working in, and to gain trust that way, which can go a long way to preventing certain types of crime. I know it sounds a bit laughable and open to ridicule, but if it can make a difference in somewhere like Brixton (which it has) it can work here. Simply saying "Great Britain - R.I.P" is somewhat fatalistic, no? Georgem
  • Score: 0

11:17pm Sun 8 Feb 09

Condor Man says...

a friend of mine is a street pastor in Fair Oak, a similar scheme is happening in Southampton soon. I don't know why people fear Christians so much, you're not forced to believe anything in this country but I don't see much that secular groups have offered in recent years actually improved peoples lives.
a friend of mine is a street pastor in Fair Oak, a similar scheme is happening in Southampton soon. I don't know why people fear Christians so much, you're not forced to believe anything in this country but I don't see much that secular groups have offered in recent years actually improved peoples lives. Condor Man
  • Score: 0

11:39pm Sun 8 Feb 09

King Mush says...

OK Georgem I know there is a vast difference between the street pastors and Guardian Angels - the former is a kind of neighbourhood watch. However - the two are linked.

'Fatalistic' ? Maybe or just getting sick of daily onslaughts of crime reports, stabbings, shootings, PC fascists grinding us down not to mention the Westminster Winkers and their fiddles etc.

British apathy is alive and well - we just roll over and show a submissive belly to the dogs that 'control' us. The ones that some of vote for.

OK Georgem I know there is a vast difference between the street pastors and Guardian Angels - the former is a kind of neighbourhood watch. However - the two are linked. 'Fatalistic' ? Maybe or just getting sick of daily onslaughts of crime reports, stabbings, shootings, PC fascists grinding us down not to mention the Westminster Winkers and their fiddles etc. British apathy is alive and well - we just roll over and show a submissive belly to the dogs that 'control' us. The ones that some of vote for. King Mush
  • Score: 0

12:49am Mon 9 Feb 09

portia6 says...


Well at least they seem to care about their fellow man, whatever
the religion that drives these
Guardian angels a faith can be
a great source of comfort.
portia6
Well at least they seem to care about their fellow man, whatever the religion that drives these Guardian angels a faith can be a great source of comfort. portia6 portia6
  • Score: 0

11:49am Mon 9 Feb 09

King Mush says...

portia6 wrote:
Well at least they seem to care about their fellow man, whatever the religion that drives these Guardian angels a faith can be a great source of comfort. portia6
Agree. Whilst not sharing any mainstream faith I think we can usually appreciate their good intentions without being subjected to evangelical spouting.

Mind you - we are all human and many a vicar, priest et al has been subjected to a weakening of the flesh and pursued 'forbidden fruit' as they say.

Most of the world's problems have resulted from tiny minorities hi-jacking parts of different faiths and using them as a political means mixed with low intelligence amongst their 'brothers'

When you live a tough empty life with no hope then it's easy to be manipulated by others who often instigate terrorism but sit back and let others do the dirty work.

[quote][p][bold]portia6[/bold] wrote: Well at least they seem to care about their fellow man, whatever the religion that drives these Guardian angels a faith can be a great source of comfort. portia6[/p][/quote]Agree. Whilst not sharing any mainstream faith I think we can usually appreciate their good intentions without being subjected to evangelical spouting. Mind you - we are all human and many a vicar, priest et al has been subjected to a weakening of the flesh and pursued 'forbidden fruit' as they say. Most of the world's problems have resulted from tiny minorities hi-jacking parts of different faiths and using them as a political means mixed with low intelligence amongst their 'brothers' When you live a tough empty life with no hope then it's easy to be manipulated by others who often instigate terrorism but sit back and let others do the dirty work. King Mush
  • Score: 0
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