Words by Ed King
Erdington will the see the ‘commissioning’ of twelve Street Pastors on Saturday 18 September, at a public event taking place outside Costa Coffee on the High Street from 11am.
From Saturday onward a dozen Street Pastors will be patrolling the streets of Erdington, after being officially welcomed into the community during a ceremony from the nationwide Ascension Trust – who pioneered the original Street Pastors project in 2003 in London.
Working with the police and local community leaders/groups, the Street Pastors will be helping to tackle issues around anti-social behaviour and public disturbances, whilst offering a friendly face for anyone who needs help or just wants to talk.
A global initiative, Street Pastors are working in communities across the world – with teams active in over 240 cities and town across the UK, including 20 in the West Midlands alone.
Recruitment is also already underway for more volunteers, with plans to train a further 20 Street Pastors from October – who will be active across Erdington in groups of twos and threes from November 2021.
Speaking at the commissioning event for the first twelve Erdington Street Pastors on Saturday 18 September will be the West Midlands Assistant Police Crime Commissioner, Tom McNeil, who will be making the keynote speech to welcome the initial team.
Also addressing both the public and Street Pastors will be MP for Erdington Jack Dromey, Pastor Rasaq Ibrahim from the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), and a selected group of civic and Church leaders.
Pastor Rasaq is the Chair of the management committee for the Erdington Streets Pastors project.
Pastor Rasaq told Erdington Local: “The Erdington Street Pastors are a chance for the Church to get out onto the streets – to help, listen to, and care for the people of Erdington. They will be there to offer support to everyone, no matter what faith or background the Street Pastors will be there to help.
“Erdington has seen an increase in crime an anti-social behaviour and the Street Pastors will be working with the police to tackle these ills in our community.
“There are Street Pastors working in cities and community across the world, and they have been proven to help reduce crime and increase support for the community.
“The Street Pastors are going to give people in Erdington another layer of support and will be a visible helping hand on the High Street and further across the constituency.
“Anyone looking to join the Erdington Street Pastors should get in touch – we offer full training and support, taking in new recruits from October.”
For more information about the Erdington Street Pastors and to see if you can get involved email Pastor Rasaq at email@example.com