Aldershot Town Centre Pastoral Team Guidelines. '... because we care.'
TRAINING - will be offered on various subjects on a regular basis and basic training will be repeated for those joining the Team. Let the Administrator know if there are areas you would like specific training on. The Police may offer training, often at short notice.
TIMES TEAMS TO BE OUT -
DAYTIME - Thursdays 10.30 – 1 and 1 – 3pm. However there is flexibility and teams can arrange their own times and days to suit.
NIGHTS - Friday and Saturday (some Thursdays):- 10 to around 12.30. Meeting at Holy Trinity Church at 9.30pm for time of prayer and preparation before going onto streets.
Evenings ideally 4 or more people (or two or three experienced members, including at least one male). Meet at Holy Trinity for prayer. Collect Table, table banner, chocolate, water, flip flops, spikeys, literature, hot drinks and uniforms etc. Set-up table with banner in the usual place, outside NatWest Bank. If larger groups go out, ideally various ‘twos’ walk around so as not to leave too intimidating a crowd around the table. If not engaged in conversation, be praying and try to look outwards rather than chat together and ideally don’t stand so as to block the view of the banner and table. Do aim to pray together at the end of the night when returning the kit to Holy Trinity. Friday teams are welcome to leave the stuff back in Crossover and Saturday teams are asked to return it to the store room at the front right part of the church.
Daytime preferably in 2's (unless confident to go alone). Meet at chosen meeting point. Pray before going out. The focal point for this ministry is the designated table in the Wellington Centre where ideally there should be two Team members present most of the time and, when there are more than two, please do walk around the parts of the town centre to engage with people elsewhere.
Rain: If the weather is atrocious at night, the team can agree not to go out (we don’t need to be martyrs in this way and we are unlikely to have many conversations) but maybe pray about it beforehand as a team. In cases of drizzle and showers, having a large ‘golf’ umbrella or two can be useful, not just for keeping dry, but others passing can be inclined to join you for shelter, guaranteeing a conversation for a while!
Mobile Telephones - At least one team member should have a Mobile phone with them. If more than one team is out it is good to have a contact number for the other team.
Team members are asked to use the members page of the TCPT website to book in for whichever shifts they make themselves available for. This is important so that the Administrator can get the needed prayer support and inform the Police. If you do not have a user name and password, please get in touch and if you are unable to access and use the website, please let the Administrator know by other means when you plan to be out.
Pen and paper - Always carry a suitable jotter pad and pen for writing down prayer requests etc. or use smart phones/tablets so that these can be reliably recorded and sent to the Administrator so that the ‘prayer warriors’ team can be praying.
Cards - there are TCPT cards (two sizes) with contact telephone number to give out where appropriate.
Church List - a list of participating Aldershot Churches with web sites, service times and contact numbers is available as a card to be given only to those interested.
Alpha Courses, other enquirer’s courses and one-off outreach events - those on the team need to know where and when courses/events are taking place and invite suitable contacts along. Let the Administrator know of them. Such courses will be shared at team meetings and in the minutes (so please read the minutes if you are not able to attend team meetings).
Be ready - to make account of who we are and why we are doing what we are doing (if asked) as well as to initiate conversation. 1 Peter 3:15. People often ask who we are and why we do what we do, so have a clear and helpful answer ready.
Be good listeners - We are not counsellors. Listen and offer prayer or even invite to church if appropriate. Ask questions. Listen to answers and gently move conversation forward. Sometimes discernment is needed when the conversation is not going anywhere (possibly owing to the influence of drugs or alcohol) and occasionally we may need sensitively to look to move people on!
Be ready to offer prayer and, when appropriate and with permission, to pray for people on the street. Training for this can be offered to team members at any time if requested.
Gideon Bible - to be ‘given’ to each team member which can be given out to those we meet where appropriate.
Be ready with points of referral i.e. CAB (10.00am to 3.30pm Mon/Fri to 5.30 on Tues). The Vine, Army Chaplaincy, The Source, The Wellbeing Centre, Inclusion (formerly Homer) etc. There should be lists of such agencies in amongst the TCPT literature and boxes.
Questionnaires - can be available for initiating conversations (particularly day teams) if wanted from George.
Be ready with points of referral i.e. CAB (10.00am to 3.30pm Mon/Fri to 5.30 on Tues). The Vine, Army Chaplaincy, HOPE Centre, etc.
Prayer contact - for emergencies; a phone number is on the TCPT cards for this.
DO NOT GIVE OUT PERSONAL TELEPHONE NUMBERS unless totally sure it is both wise and safe to do so.
Use mobile number. If appropriate take a number from people we meet for follow up.
REGISTERING AVAILABILITY FOR THE TEAMS - Please indicate when you can be available and plan to go out with the team on the TCPT website (www.tcpt.org.uk) in the member’s area.
It is particularly important that you do this for a number of reasons:
If you are unable to fulfil one of your slots please let the Administrator know a.s.a.p. and alter the website. If team numbers are short we will need to cancel that slot, therefore it's important as much notice is given if alterations need to be made, but the Administrator will e-mail out before cancelling to see if cover is available (it often is).
There is no maximum or minimum number of times members can go out, but we would encourage you to aim to average at least once a month.
Feed Back - one person from each team needs to give feed back and the prayer requests via email to the Administrator as soon after going out as possible so that she can send out the prayer requests to the ‘prayer warriors’ back up team. If matters of a sensitive area are shared, please do not give people’s full names, maybe just an initial.
Monthly prayer and feedback meetings - will usually be on the second Friday each month at 8.00pm at Holy Trinity unless we are bringing in some training or social element to the evening, in which case we will probably meet at 7.30 and the Administrator will inform and remind the team. The dates will be e-mailed out monthly by the Administrator and are normally given out at the beginning of each year. It would be both helpful and polite if those members of the Team that are unable to make a certain meeting could send their apologies to the Administrator in advance.
Do not drink alcohol just prior to going on streets or while on duty or in a club afterwards.
Money - do not give money to people. Try not to take money from those who offer it (items are ‘a token of God’s love, given freely’, also we do not have a permit to collect money and some people, when under the influence of alcohol, can have a tendency to over-generosity that they might regret the following morning!), but if given some, put it in the TCPT box or give to the Administrator or George. If money is accumulating, please feel free to put it in the top left corner of the desk in the church ‘office’ in one of the small clear money bags with a note in it saying something like ‘TCPT shrapnel’.
First aid - Call an ambulance if necessary, ask help from door staff, generally only qualified First Aiders should intervene, although knowing the basic recovery position is helpful if the patient is unconscious.
DBS - this is not a requirement for Team members any more.
Uniforms - long sleeve jacket, body warmer, beanie, and t-shirt will be provided to members of the team. If you decide to leave the team or move away, please return your uniform. Please do not give your uniform to members of the public.
Daytime Team - as part of the TCPT we have a stall in the Wellington Centre on Thursdays offering encouraging words, literature, sweets and prayer. Do use different ‘tools’ that can help initiate conversations such as Table Talk, the Jesus Deck (although some training is needed for this), ‘Psalm Reading’, questionnaires etc. The Team are welcome to do daytime peripatetic walks in the town at other times and days.
Prospective members/observers - are permitted to join a team outreach with permission from the Administrator and/or George once to twice, so long as there is a full team out that includes at least one experienced member per ‘guest’.
Relationship with the Police - We are not an extension of the Police but we do want to work with them and support them in the good work they do which will include listening to their needs as individuals as well. There will be some aspects we will need to remain neutral on and we still need to keep the confidentiality of what has been shared with us by other people, except in the standard areas (harm to children, terrorism etc). In areas of ‘minor offences’, such as street drinking, we do not encourage reporting people to the police except where there is a significant risk of harm/offense to members of the public or Team. TCPT has an ‘amnesty’ status whereby people can give us offensive weapons/illegal drugs and, so long as we then pass them on to the Police, we are not prosecuted for possessing those items. It is worth knowing where the CCTV cameras are (there is one up on Lloyds Bank, opposite where the night team are based). If there is some ‘incident’ that you feel CCTV should be aware of, their number is [removed for security purposes. Please contact George or the Administrator as per below] – do not give this number to anyone outside the Team.
TCPT database on 1&1.