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Street Chaplains

This project started in 2009 as the founders of our work put their feet first on the ground. It started with and has been for many years City Centre Chaplaincy where amazing volunteers have engaged with people in and around the city centre who want to talk. There is much loneliness, sadness, grief and worry for people and our Chaplains are gentle to respond to this. Sometimes, it only takes a person to spend some time listening to give new hope for the day.

During the Summer of 2022, Street Pastors and City Centre Chaplaincy volunteers merged under the new banner of Street Chaplains. You will see Street Chaplains out in our city talking to people, giving out gifts, listening to those in need, praying where asked to do so and much more.

The project helps to improve the feelings of safety for everyone within the community, especially in public spaces and the night-time economy, and for women. The Street Chaplains are in active partnership with emergency services increasing opportunities for Christians to outwork their faith alongside many aspects of city life.

Welcomed into local pubs, Street Chaplains are there for anyone who would appreciate a chat or prayer, these moments have brought much comfort to people enabling them to share any stresses or worries, such as having loved ones in hospital or separation from family members. Many have commented how much they appreciate having the option of someone to talk to should they ever need it.

“The Street Chaplains have become an integral part of the Christian missional response in our city. Led by an amazing co-ordinator, and with passionate and caring volunteers they endeavour to put their faith into practice through reaching out to people wherever they are and whatever their circumstances.” Very Revd Chris Dalliston, (Dean of Peterborough)

Following the request from the police, we now also have chaplains who are active in Peterborough’s Central Park. Every Friday, they offer a friendly smile and a listening ear to those wanting to chat. By making these visits every week, friendships are sometimes formed with regular park goers which provides comfort to them. To help make the park more pleasant, they also collect rubbish. They have even discovered and removed a machete from the park preventing it being used for violent crime.

“I enjoy meeting and talking to new people, you get to know some of them quite well over time as they regularly visit the park.” Sheila (Street Chaplain)

Chaplains also work directly with those who provide services to the homeless. We have had many instances where someone has come to our Garden House distraught and struggling with their emotions, Street Chaplains have been there to listen and provide the support needed to the individual. Their communication skills and experience of supporting others are invaluable in moments like these.

“Having the Street Chaplains out and about in Peterborough to signpost people in need, help people in distress get home after a night out or just offer some consoling words when they are troubled really compliments and supports policing activities.” Inspector Lyndsay Mylchreest (Cambridgeshire Constabulary)

Want to get involved?

We’re recruiting for new volunteers to join our amazing team! Keep reading if you or someone you know would be interested in becoming a Chaplain.

What we’re looking for in volunteers:

-Reliability, trustworthiness and a non-judgemental nature

-Good communication and people skills

-Member of a church for at least six months

What you’ll get in return:

-The opportunity to meet new people and make new friends

-Be able to help others who are in need

-Gain key skills and experience for CV or future roles

There are various shifts available. For daytime, chaplains go out on Wednesdays (11am-1pm) and Friday (10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm). For night shifts, these are only on Fridays (9pm-3am) but looking to expand this to Saturdays as well. Chaplains don’t need to volunteer every week but ideally at least once a month.

If you want to find out more or ready to become a Street Chaplain, then please email sarah.harcharran@lightprojectpeterborough.org.uk.