The tenth anniversary of Street Pastors in Scotland was celebrated by a debate and reception in the Scottish Parliament on 19/12/2017.
Inverness was the first place in Scotland to invite the Street Pastors initiative and pioneered its introduction to the Highlands ten years ago. Earlier this month I received my certificate of Street Pastor service at its 10th-anniversary commemoration in Inverness cathedral.
As one of the ‘Class of 2007’, I was invited to this year’s 10th-anniversary reception in Parliament, but other commitments precluded my attendance. I remember attending the first reception in the Scottish Parliament seven years ago with Les Isaac, the founder of Street Pastors in the UK, who was able to be present on this occasion also. So this blogpost can act as my contribution to this commemoration.
Street Pastors are now in 23 locations across Scotland. The 40-minute parliamentary debate highlighted their good Samaritan work with many stories of pastoral practical assistance. Some of my own stories can be read here.
Stewart Stevenson, MSP, quoted The Spectator magazine describing the Street Pastors as “weirdly, effective unworldliness”, which he explained as in other words they were saying, ‘this is pretty good stuff but we don’t quite know how it works and it is not quite in our normal experience.’ This is a good gloss on the world’s inability to diagnose the divine Spirit and motivation that is in the godly Lk 9:55.
The Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Angela Constance, MSP, concluded the debate and singled out the caring and commitment of Street Pastor volunteers who have given 45,000 hours of service each year. She stated that giving one’s time is one of the biggest gifts one can give. She quantified the financial contribution of volunteers across Scotland at £2 billion.
Our country needs more of this Christian care, commitment, conviction and compassion in our communities, and more Christian conscience in the workplace will add to the motivation and efficiency of the workforce in our land.