The voluntary work of Dover Street Pastors, backed up by Prayer Pastors, was detailed to members of Dover Rotary Club by Jan Jones, secretary of the management team. Formed six years ago there are now 33 volunteers in the group of whom 13 are men.
Mrs Jones, from River church, told how the Ascension Trust was created in 1993 and the pastors in Dover had to obey the trust’s rules. She reported it cost about £300 to train and kit out the pastors who help those in difficulties (often through drink or drugs) at night on Fridays and Saturdays. While the Street Pastors are active in the town centre, the Prayer Pastors are in St Mary’s Parish Centre offering prayers for them. At one stage the pastors, who come from different Dover churches, had to face a crowd of around 40.
Mrs Jones revealed that when they first started six years ago they met some aggression but that overall nightly behaviour in Dover had greatly improved, probably since the closure of some of the night clubs.