Rugby's street pastors looking for new recruits to join them on nights out in town

Street pastors have been part of Rugby’s nightlife since 2010 and the team are looking to boost their numbers in the year ahead.

Rev David Fleming from Rugby Baptist Church is part of the Street Pastors committee and is pictured with team members Dawn Thurkettle, Pete Hickey and Julie Foster, together with Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Emma Daniell and Rugby Police Inspector Sally Bunyard-Spiers.
Rev David Fleming from Rugby Baptist Church is part of the Street Pastors committee and is pictured with team members Dawn Thurkettle, Pete Hickey and Julie Foster, together with Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Emma Daniell and Rugby Police Inspector Sally Bunyard-Spiers.

There are currently around 40 volunteers drawn from churches around the town, who go out in teams on Rugby’s streets on a Friday and Saturday night from around 10pm until 4am the next morning.

Co-ordinator Dawn Thurkettle said: “A presence of street pastors at 3am around the clock tower in Rugby town centre, where intoxicated clubbers congregate whilst waiting for a taxi, brings a calming, reassuring influence.

"Many people have said they feel much safer when they see street pastors are watching out for them. The role is one of listening, caring and helping – working in an unconditional, non-judgemental way.

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    People in Rugby are now well aware that the street pastors are there to help them in a practical way. Whether street pastors are pointing people in the right direction, persuading someone not to do something they would subsequently regret, providing emergency first aid, giving out flip-flops and lollies, or just being a shoulder to cry on, they are practically demonstrating the Christian ethos of caring for one another.”

    The team are currently recruiting and plan to start training street pastors and their prayer pastor supporters on Saturday, January 21. For more details and to get an application form, email Dawn on: [email protected]

    Their work was boosted when they were handed funding from Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe at a special Your Police, Your Views community engagement event at Rugby Baptist Church at November 7 – the money will pay for training and uniform costs.