On Saturday 23 June, Lighthouse Church in Geraldton hosted the first training day for 18 new recruits to Geraldton Street Chaplaincy. These Christians were drawn from churches across Geraldton and experienced a day of stories, training, visual information and inspiration about the ministry of Street Chaplaincy; which connects Chaplains with those who are in need on the streets.
This initiative is new to Geraldton, but at a recent Ministers Fellowship meeting we heard from the Police Officer in charge about how local Police would welcome Christian churches to initiate a Street Chaplaincy team here in our city. The Police have witnessed the effectiveness of Street Chaplains in bringing ‘light’ to the streets of various cities and towns in WA already including Northbridge, Fremantle, Albany, Mandurah and Kununurra.
Street Chaplains are ordinary Christians from across churches who volunteer, are trained and equipped, and then rostered to be present on the streets of their own town, usually late at night, to provide crisis pastoral care unconditionally to anyone in need. The chaplains offer compassion and practical help to all who need and want it. They always work in teams of two providing first point of care resources.
The vision of Street Chaplains is to contribute to the peace of the city so that those on the streets have care and confidence. They do not preach, but put a priority on deeds of love and care. Street Chaplains respect the broad range of cultural traditions and religious views in the community and work alongside those of all beliefs. It is a ‘Good Samaritan’ response to those who need help or even a listening ear.
If you would like to find out more about Street Chaplains and their work, possibly close to your area, visit streetchaplain.com.
Photo: Jessica Wylde