The Aldershot Town Centre Pastoral Team comprises Christians from most of the Christian churches in the Aldershot area. Primarily, it is a night-time outreach with a presence in the town centre every Friday and Saturday night throughout the year, as well as on a few other occasions. We have a stall with lollies, Mars bars, flip-flops, bottles of water, hot drinks, “Spikeys“, space blankets as well as helpful literature. There are also teams out during the day, primarily Thursdays, which is market day, both with a table in the Wellington Centre and patrols of one or two.
It is a distinctively Christian ministry, aiming to listen, encourage, help, bless and pray for any and all we may meet, in a sensitive way. We meet and engage with several thousand people every year, many of whom open up about significantly deep and painful issues in their lives which we can then pray for, offer practical, emotional and spiritual help as well as signpost to other specialist organisations.
The team, as it is now, was started on 1st May 2008 but has its roots in a monthly church outreach from one of the local churches which started three years previously. The police have noticed (and commented upon) how, when the teams are out, the crime and incident rates drop significantly.