DEREHAM TOWN PASTORS SIGNING CEREMONY
Over 40 representatives of Town and District councils, local churches and youth organisations attended the official launch and signing ceremony for the Dereham Town Pastors initiative. The culmination of many hours of work and prayer were rewarded today at the Dereham Baptist Church in a simple yet inspiring, and exciting ceremony.
‘EXCITING’ this word was repeated often by those invited to speak at the launch and Dereham became the first Norfolk Town to be affiliated with the Suffolk umbrella organization of seven towns. Tim Birt the Mayor of Dereham welcomed the formation of the Dereham Town Pastors following the previous successes achieved by the former Street Pastors. Being available to young people in their own environment enabled them to seek help and guidance outside of official channels. Rob Coote, the Police Community Support Officer, speaking on behalf of his senior officers, echoed the Mayors comments and welcomed the help and cooperation given to the police by the Town Pastors. Any initiative designed to guide and protect our young people is very welcome and should be supported in every way possible.
Have a look at the events gallery for photographs of this event.
The report on the Town Pastor Initiative by our Administrator Tricia Waller
"A group of people from the churches in the town met last summer and formed a committee with the aim of bringing Town Pastors to the streets of Dereham and the surrounding villages. Dereham Town Pastors adhere to the core values and code of practice of the Suffolk Town Pastor organisation, but is an entirely separate and independent charitable body.
Town Pastors acknowledge that God loves everybody and that regardless of how God’s image within a person is distorted through the effects of sin, every life is considered special and precious. Taking the example of Jesus, Town Pastors strive to care for the people they meet in a non-judgemental way, treating them with respect and dignity.
Town Pastors are interdenominational volunteers who receive training to go out onto the streets in teams to listen to people’s needs, cares and concerns and respond accordingly as the opportunity arises. Town Pastors out on patrol are always supported by the prayer team. They keep in touch via mobile phone or walkie-talkies, plus there are other volunteers who pray at home for one hour slots. "
Recruiting for street patrols and prayer teams will be in March. Patrols act as a positive presence on the streest, to dissuade anti- social behaviour and provide a calming influence in tense and volatile situations and providing safety and reassurance to school students and local residents. We have been advised by the local police that the most beneficial times for patrols to go out would be between 4pm and 6pm and 8pm and 10pm on Fridays initially. Patrols would include a variety of locations around the town, wherever the young people congregate including the town centre, various car parks and the Rec.
Five Dereham churches have made the commitment to be active in their support and care for the Young Adults of the Dereham Community.
WE CARE FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
If YOU do as well why not get involved?