I received a .pdf review copy of Stories from the Streets: An insight into the work of Street Pastors from the publisher, Instant Apostle. I was interested to read this book as at least one of my friends and acquaintances volunteers as a Street Pastor in a local town.
Stories from the Streets by Dr Luke Randall and Sue Shaw is available now in paperback or for Kindle, having been published in November 2020.
Street Pastors are all members of various Christian churches eligible to belong to Churches Together. They put into practice Jesus’ teaching to care for others, especially the poor and people often avoided. The book sets the historical scene of Christian social action at different times and also includes information about other contemporary initiatives such as CAP (Christians against Poverty, an organisation which helps people recover from debt). There are stories of Street Pastors’ experiences from various towns and cities in the UK and farther afield. As it says on the cover, there are ‘inspiring testimonies of hope where it is needed most’.
The book is well-written and has many references to other sources of information, conveniently placed in footnotes. At the end there are pointers to information for anyone wishing to find out more or indeed thinking of becoming a Street Pastor.
Although the circumstances of some of the stories are disturbing, the book is encouraging. While most people are asleep at weekends and other busy times, dedicated volunteers are out helping people who are on the streets at night, whether they are homeless or have been to pubs and clubs, the well-trained Street Pastors are ready to provide non-judgmental assistance. They work with the emergency services, freeing them to attend more serious incidents.
As I read the book I wondered how the Covid-19 pandemic had affected night-life and Street Pastors. It was updated before publication to include a chapter on this topic.
I found Stories from the Streets very readable and recommend it.