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Phoenix Choir in Concert 23rd Sep 2107

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In conversation with Caroline Pugh

This is an extended version of the article in our summer 2017 newsletter.

To give you a bit of an insight about what it’s like to be a volunteer with Isle of Wight Street Pastors we spoke to Caroline Pugh, who is both a School and Street Pastor, about her experience and what being a Pastor means to her:

WStreet Pastors on Patrolhen I moved to the Island I joined a church where one of the trustees was a retired priest. He regularly used to talk about Street pastors. He was my inspiration, he was such a lovely man. He spoke with such passion about it. I tried to enrol as a Street Pastor when I’d only been in the church for about 3 months. I was so inspired I asked about it, but I had to be in a church for a year. At the time I was a bit upset that I wasn’t considered but I can see the reasoning behind it now. As it happened, it wasn’t the right time and I’ve grown into the role over the last few years, becoming a School Pastor in 2013 then later cross-training as a Street Pastor.

The training was absolutely amazing. I think I’m still very close to the people I trained with. It was a time of huge growth. I loved the people who were leading it. It was through my second lot of training for street pastors that I came to realise something very, very vital about my life. People say “oh the training is life changing”, well it really was in my case. It caused me to go back and examine my whole life.

The best thing about School Pastors for me has been the team, the people, the other Pastors. They have influenced my life tremendously, they have been there when I need, them they have encouraged my faith. To be absolutely truthful joining School Pastors was the first time in my life I’ve ever really felt I belonged and that’s wonderful. Never in my professional life have I ever felt like I was really an equal part of a team.

One of the hardest things for me in the beginning was trying to drop my “teacher’s hat” in school as I’d done some supply teaching in Medina before. My feelings about the students have changed since being a School Pastor; I look at them with a different perspective, seeing them as people, as individuals, all chosen and cherished by God.  I didn’t see children like that when I was teaching, I saw them as a reflection of my abilities in the classroom. It’s quite a huge change in my way of thinking.

The most important thing I’ve learnt in the last few years, from the training here and courses I’ve been on is developing my listening skills. I wasn’t very good at listening to people. Listening is so important.

Sometimes we’re called away on the streets to go to an incident and it feels terrible to walk away from people who need somebody to listen. I think if we all listened more to each other generally in society it would just make such a difference. Equally in school the youngsters want to talk, its huge. It takes quite a lot of courage to approach an adult, no matter how friendly we are and how often they’ve seen us in school.

I think we have a big impact on people’s lives. Sometimes in just a smile, an acknowledgment, making eye contact with somebody. A huge impact.

I’ve worked with some amazing people, I’ve met some people I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t joined the Street Pastor organisation. I’ve had some wonderful team leaders, in school and on the streets. I try and go on the extra patrols in Cowes and Ventnor. I’ll be part of the team going into Carisbrooke which is exciting, and will be leading the team once a month too. I think it’s going to be a very different school and a very different situation.

I didn’t have any concerns about joining as a volunteer, but my daughter was a bit concerned about me wanting to be a Street Pastor!  She didn’t mind so much that I was going to be a School Pastor as it seemed safer!  But I never had any fears in that direction. If anyone was thinking about becoming a Street or School Pastor I’d encourage them to give it a go. Come out with us and see what it’s like, see the way people react to us, both students in school and people on the streets.

Summer Newsletter Available Now

Our summer newsletter is out now!

You can view an online copy here or contact the office if you’d like a nice shiny printed copy!

AGM 2017

We’d love to see you at the AGM this year, find out what we’ve been up to and about our plans going forward.

2017 AGM Notice

By order of The Trustees, notice is hereby given that the 7th Annual General Meeting of Isle of Wight Street Pastors will be held on  Thursday 15th June at 7.00 pm at Newport Methodist Church, Quay Street, Newport, PO30 5BA. The trustees’ report and accounts for the period 1st January 2016 to 31st December 2016 will be received.

Please could any . . . → Read More: 2017 AGM Notice

2017 Newsletter available now

With some big changes at IOW Street Pastors over the last year or so we haven’t managed to produce a newsletter for a while, but we’ve remedied that now!  Our 2017 newsletter can be downloaded here.

We thought it was a good opportunity to update you on staff changes and also let you know what a . . . → Read More: 2017 Newsletter available now

Another 11 commissioned

We were delighted to welcome 11 more volunteers to the Isle of Wight Street Pastors’ team tonight. The new Street, School and Prayer pastors commissioned will help boost our existing patrols and allow us to keep serving people on the streets and in Medina College. It was also great to see such support for the . . . → Read More: Another 11 commissioned

AGM 2016

It’s nearly time for our AGM!  Anyone with an interest in what we do is welcome to attend, though only members of the charity are able to vote.

By order of The Trustees, notice is hereby given that the 6th Annual General Meeting of Isle of Wight Street Pastors will be held on Thursday May 26th . . . → Read More: AGM 2016

Musical Soiree in aid of IOW Street Pastors

Back by popular demand an evening Soiree with Steve French & Co at St Andrews, Ventnor, 7pm, Fri 5th Feb.