Town Pastors' work celebrated in churches across Suffolk
Almost 20 churches across Suffolk are set to celebrate the work of Town Pastors on the night-time streets across the county on Town Pastor Sunday – September 17.
Their work will be marked in churches in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Haverhill, Newmarket, Leiston, Sudbury and Woodbridge.
Eleven years have elapsed since the first appearance of Town Pastors on the streets of Ipswich. Staffed by members of local Christian Churches, Town Pastors now operate weekend patrols in ten Suffolk towns in addition to Dereham in Norfolk, and also make their own special contribution as Festival Pastors at the Latitude Music Festival.
Town Pastors are easily recognisable as they patrol in mixed sex teams with their high-viz yellow jackets. Each team usually come equipped with radios and predominantly patrol in the “night-time economy” where they can usually be seen at weekends, normally from 10 pm to 4 am.
During their patrols Town Pastors regularly support “Door staff”, and supplement the work of the Police and emergency services in keeping people safe. The overall work of Town Pastors has diverse local funding, but the single biggest supporter is the Police and Crime Commissioner (for Suffolk schemes).
All Town Pastors receive comprehensive training, must have enhanced DBS checks, and are required to sign up to a standard protocol before being commissioned and issued with uniforms.
Prayer also plays a key role in the way Town Pastors operate, and patrols do not proceed should that support not be available.
Local Christian Churches support the ministry of Town Pastors and a number are holding a special service on “Town Pastor Sunday” 17th September, 2017. Members of the general public are encouraged to attend this special service where they will be warmly welcomed, and can learn more about the work of Town Pastors and get to meet some of those who patrol in their locality.
Town Pastor Sunday services
Felixstowe: 5.30 pm Salvation Army, Cobbold Road, Felixstowe
Haverhill 10.30 Church in the Field, Arms Lane, Kedington
10.30 Haverhill Methodist, 28 Camps Road
10.30 River of Life Community Church
10.00 St. Felix Roman Catholic
10.30 Salvation Army, Chauntry Road
Ipswich: 10.30 Vineyard. Norris House, Hadleigh Road, IP2 0HU
10.45 Nansen Road Baptist, Nansen Road, Ipswich IP3 9HN
10.00 Priory Centre Salvation Army 43 Queen's Way, Ipswich IP3 9EX
10 am St Matthew’s, Portman Road.
6.30 Rushmere Baptist Church. 112 The Street, Rushmere St Andrew. Ipswich. IP5 1DF
Leiston: 9.45 Connection church at Saxmundham primary school
6.30 Baptist church Leiston (United Service)
10.30 St Margarets Church, Waterloo Avenue, Leiston
Newmarket: 10.30 Roman Catholic Church, 14 Exeter Rd, Newmarket, CB8 8LT
Sudbury 11.00 St. Gregory’s Church, Sudbury
Woodbridge 10.45 Woodbridge Methodist Church
Pictured above are Town Pastors at work at the Latitude music festival.