Duncan Cameron, coordinator for Borders Street Pastors, spoke at Midlem SWI’s first meeting of 2019.
Established in this region in 2016, Duncan said the pastors have been out on Borders streets on 173 Saturday nights, talking to people, building up relationships with them in order to find their needs and what can be done to help them. He explained that religion and faith were not spoken about unless members of the public mention it first.
There are pastors from all church denominations and all over the Borders. They carry with them flip flops (1,357 pairs have been given out so far), bottles of water, spikies that fits in the top of bottles which means drinks can’t be spiked, woolly hats, foil blankets, dustpan and brush, foam mats, cigarette lighters and the favourites – lollipops.
Some people saw street pastors as a safe space, both as someone to speak to, and people they can talk to and get help if needed. Funding comes from various churches, other sources and from a couple of supermarkets by the selling of their carrier bags.
The pastors have a good relationship with the police and have been praised for the fall in street crime.
Favourite Christmas card – 1, Joan Jamieson; 2, Cathy Borwick; 3, Mary Inglis. Slice of Christmas cake – 1, Anne Cochrane, right; 2, Mary Wales, centre; 3, Helen Pearce, left. Yearly cup for 2018 (PICTURED) – 1, Sheena Galloway, centre; 2, Anne Cochrane, left; 3, Margot Hastie, right. Irene Cotter won the Shetland Bell.
The next meeting will (again in the afternoon) will be held on Tuesday, February 12, at 2pm, featuring a hands-on demonstration from Anne Cochrane and Helen Pearce. Competitions – two Aberdeen butteries and a hand-made tea cosy in any craft.