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27 December 2017

MSP Praises Work of Peterhead's Street Pastors in Parliament

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has praised the work of Peterhead’s Street Pastors during a debate in the Scottish Parliament.
Speaking in Holyrood, the MSP said:

“Earlier this year, I attended the induction of new pastors in Peterhead. I have not been out on the street with street pastors, but I have certainly been out on a Saturday night with the police on three occasions for approximately five hours, so I know the environment into which street pastors go.

“One of the interesting things that I have heard from those street pastors is that their mere presence changes the character of what is going on. In a place like Peterhead, we might wonder why that should be so. Peterhead has a population of 19,000, but the odds are that the street pastor knows your mum. 


Being able to walk up to somebody who is just a little bit off the proper behaviour and asking,“Will I call your mum? You are obviously needing a wee bit of help” is sometimes enough to nudge people back to proper behaviour. 

It is a very practical thing. We are talking about practical, polite, pastoral support. Getting support is the very meaning of the word “pastoral”.

“The pastors give practical advice and help that will make a real difference to people in places like Peterhead.

“Peterhead is a diverse community. The academy has 28 languages spoken in it. There are therefore plenty of opportunities for confusion and misunderstandings between different parts of the community. The presence of street pastors can help to deal with that. They can help to identify vulnerable people and connect them to support and sources of help.

“Street pastors are a return to the roots of much of what Christian faith is about: supporting other people and being non-judgemental.”
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