As Edinburgh Street Pastors move towards their 10th anniversary year, I thought it was time to let you know about our other initiatives. Ascension Trust (Scotland) (AT(S)) is the umbrella organisation for all Street Pastor Initiatives in Scotland. AT(S) negotiates with officials to identify the need for additional initiatives, some of which are adopted from Ascension Trust in London.
Prayer Pastors are attached to local Street Pastor groups, and are often people who have a desire to be involved but are unable to fully participate in patrols. Prayer Pastors attend limited training prior to being adopted into teams. They offer prayer in real time, either at the base or from home. As Street Pastors prepare to take to the street and while they are on patrol, Prayer Pastors are contactable by telephone to pray into any incidents that are encountered. The real-time prayer support is invaluable.
Rail Pastors patrol railway stations and travel on trains. Currently, in Scotland, they can be seen in stations in Edinburgh and the Fife Circle. The introduction of Rail Pastors is fully supported by the British Transport Police. This group offer help and finds solutions for stranded passengers and ensures that people who have overindulged in alcohol get onto the correct train. Rail pastors are trained to notice body language, particularly useful when identifying safeguarding issues, human trafficking and those who may be contemplating suicide.
Response Pastors are the most recent addition to the Ascension Trust (Scotland) portfolio, going live on 21st May 2018. Response Pastors are trained and experienced, active Street Pastors who have received additional training to deal with man-made and natural disasters. After undertaking the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service online training for volunteers, they are placed on the Community Asset Register and are available to be called out to incidents anywhere in Scotland and the north of England. Response Pastors are drawn from Street Pastor Initiative throughout Scotland from the Scottish Borders in the south to Stornoway in the north, ensuring that a team can be on site quickly. A response pastor is a crucial point of contact and an additional support to the established emergency services. Their primary task is to offer support and compassion to all in the event of a crisis or emergency, this may be outside emergency cordons at an incident or specifically to assist in a Humanitarian Reception Centre for survivors, evacuees or other persons affected by the event. This year, Response pastors were deployed to the Westminster Bridge and Manchester terrorist attacks. Please pray that this initiative will never be deployed in Scotland.
Edinburgh Street Pastors
About Edinburgh Street Pastors
Edinburgh Street Pastors, are using a Go For It Main Grant to recruit and train teams to patrol the city centre on Friday and Saturday nights, providing support and practical help to the homeless, vulnerable, revelers and tourists. To find out more, like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.
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