Harlow Street Pastors

About Us

Area Coordinator:- Dr Owen Jenkins

Contact:- owen58jenkins@gmail.com

What is a Street Pastor??   You may have seen some people on the Streets of Harlow on a Friday night from around 10:00pm until the early hours of Saturday, dressed in a blue uniform with “STREET PASTOR” on it.

Who Are We??   We are trained volunteers from a number of different Christian churches across Harlow.

What Do We Do??   We are a Christian presence on the streets of Harlow, caring for people in need, (for whatever reason), to help make them feel safe, so they can enjoy their evening out.  Our role is not about preaching, but caring, listening and helping vulnerable individuals……….unconditionally!!

Why Do We Do It??   Because we want to demonstrate the love that God has shown to us in Jesus Christ.  ………”truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”……… Matthew 25:40.  It’s all about mobilising the Church out of the buildings and onto the streets.

The Beginnings   Street Pastors was founded by Rev. Les Isaac, from Brixton Baptist Church and they first started patrolling the streets of Lambeth and Hackney in April 2003.  There are now over 11,000 Street Pastors patrolling towns and cities right across the world.  In the UK Eastern Region, there are Street Pastors in Billericay, Bishop’s Stortford, Braintree, Brentwood, Broxbourne, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester, Dunstable, Harlow, Hemel Hempstead, Hertford & Ware, Leighton Buzzard, Loughton, Luton, Peterborough, Saffron Walden, Southend, Stevenage, Witham………………………………the list goes on!

Harlow Street Pastors was formed in April 2010 and first patrolled the town centre on 10th September 2010.  We have patrolled the streets nearly every Friday night since then from 22:00 until the early hours of Saturday, come rain or shine.  We currently have 28 Street Pastors and 28 Prayer Warriors from over 15 different churches across Harlow.  Each Street Pastor undergoes 50 hours of intensive training, covering all aspects of street life (including topics such as alcohol and drug abuse, police operations, youth culture and probation services).  We are also all first aid certified.

We operate from St. Paul’s Church in the centre of town, where we have our Prayer Base.  The Street Pastors patrol in a team of 4, two women and two men.  Each team carries a kit bag containing an emergency first aid kit, water, space blankets, flip flops, sweets and literature.  We carry a Town Link radio and so are in direct contact with the Police, the Door Staff and CCTV Control.  We also carry a mobile phone and contact the Prayer Base every 15minutes or so, to update our position and to request specific prayer in response to encounters and incidents on the streets.  The Prayer Base not only pray for the situation as it unfolds, but ‘phone designated individuals at home who also pray in response to the request.  Without this “live” prayer cover, the Street Pastors would not patrol.

We were delighted to learn that in the first year of patrolling the Town, the antisocial behaviour rate dropped by 17%, mirroring similar trends in other regions where Street Pastors have been established.  In the over 5 years we have been operating, we have helped over 330 people get home safely, administered first aid to 230 individuals (some with life-threatening injuries), provided over 350 pairs of flip flops to women who can no longer walk in their impossible heels, (women take their high heels off after a night’s dancing and are in danger of cutting their feet), safely removed from the streets over 2100 bottles and glasses (which can be used as potential weapons), and had meaningful conversations with over 1100 people.

Through God’s grace, we have been able to touch the lives of hundreds of revellers on a Friday night, providing practical help, comfort, first aid, and a listening ear.  Most importantly, when asked why we do it, we have also been able to talk about God’s love through Jesus Christ, to people who are desperately searching for a spiritual purpose in their lives and who otherwise may not encounter the Gospel.

If you are interested in becoming a Street Pastor or Prayer Warrior in Harlow, or just want to know more, please contact Owen Jenkins at the E-mail address above.