The central purpose and role of Ascension Trust (Scotland) [AT(S)]is as an umbrella organisation for all Street Pastor Initiatives in Scotland. These Initiatives are an inter-denominational Church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the street to listen, care and help.
AT(S) operates under a licence agreement from The Ascension Trust. AT(S) coordinates the development of Street/School Pastor Initiatives and advises on how to create an Initiative using a nine stage development plan. This involves an AT Representative meeting with a new group to assist them in building relationships with Churches, the local authority and the police.
AT(S) also provides support to existing Initiatives through visits by Directors and AT Representatives who deliver training that has been developed in conjunction with Ascension Trust, for volunteers. Each volunteer completes at least 50 hours of training, the content of which is laid down in a manual. This ensures consistency across the whole of the Street Pastor Movement.
Network and partnership development both locally and at a national level is a key area for AT(S) especially in relation to ensuring that all denominations are aware of the Street/School Pastor role.
Below is some of the evidence of the work, impact and success of Ascension Trust (Scotland):
- We currently have 21 initiatives, perhaps becoming 22 by December
- We have trained in excess of 500 Street Pastors
- We have 5 Ascension Trust (Scotland) Representatives
- We work with over 100 churches representing many denominations
AT(S) will continue to work closely with Ascension Trust with a view of being able to assist them, give oversight and manage Initiatives.