Moderator and Youth Moderator Visit Perth Street Pastors

Angus Morrison and Rachel Hutcheson
Rt Rev Angus Morrison and Rachel Hutcheson joined Perth Street Pastors on Thursday night as they headed out to the streets of Perth city centre to listen, care and help. Photo courtesy of The Courier.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev Angus Morrison, and the Youth Moderator, Rachel Hutcheson, joined Perth Street Pastors on Thursday night as they headed out to the streets of Perth city centre to listen, care and help.

'It was a privilege to join the Perth Street Pastors last night," said Rt Rev Angus Morrison. "This is a front -line ministry of listening, help and care. It was evident how good the relationship is between the Pastors and those they regularly meet on the streets who clearly value their presence and feel reassured by it."

The pastors' main work is to listen and comfort people on the street, usually between the hours of 10pm and 3am. Pastors go where they are needed and where volunteers step forward to serve.

Just eight years ago, there were no street pastors in Scotland. Now more than 500 street pastors work across 20 communities.

The Perth pastors have been operating since 2007, with members coming from a wide variety of churches and denominations throughout Perthshire. And as well as listening to people, they bring a few practical supplies such as: flip flops, space blankets, lollipops, bottles of water and first aid materials.

"Street pastoring is really not what I expected," Rachel said. "It's a very subtle yet extremely rewarding and powerful ministry. I loved helping folk from all walks of life. I very much valued the opportunity to listen, help and care.

"I really enjoyed my evening with Perth Street Pastors who were all very welcoming."

Street Pastors are now in line for a significant boost in funding that could help them reach out to many more people on the street. That's because in April The Guild announced that Street Pastors is one of six projects its members will support over the next three years.

The Moderator said he would encourage everyone to support the pastors.

"Jesus was the first Street Pastor and it is difficult to think of a more meaningful expression of God's love for all, especially the most vulnerable among us."