Meeting together....

The Free Church Education Committee met at the end of March to pray for and plan the next steps in our education strategy. We were hosted, with great welcome, at the Westhill Endowment and had an edifying time of discussion and working together. Our opening devotions, led by our Committee Chair, Julie Grove, were based on Faith Exhibit paintings by Rev Elizabeth Gray-King. You can find out more about hiring these works and other faith based pieces HERE.

Pictured are some of the members of the Free Church Education Committee

You can find out more about our work in the field of education with our Free Church members here and get your church involved in this vital work.

Are you or anyone at your church involved in town or city chaplaincy?

atcc.png

This event coming up soon in Luton might be of interest to you.

2019 ATCC Conference - "A Celebration of Chaplaincies" by The Alliance of Town and City Chaplaincies.

Having had two very successful national conferences in April 2013 and 2015, the Alliance of Town and City Chaplaincies are hosting another on Thursday 4th April 2019 at Central Baptist Church, Luton.

Please find out more information here.

Love on Mothers' Day

Each one of us, over the years will have many memories, both happy and sad, of marking Mother’s Day in some way. It can be a difficult time for many, especially those in prison, so the Prison Fellowship (PF) has a project linked for Mothers’ Day.

Angel Tree Mothers’ Day supports young adult prisoners in their family relationships by enabling them to have a gift sent on their behalf, containing their own message, to their mother or other significant adult, on Mothers’ Day.

PF’s mission is to show Christ’s love to prisoners by coming alongside them and supporting them. They seek through prayer and practical care to help, support and develop a Christian ministry to prisoners and their families.

How can you get involved? You can find out more about the Angel Tree project and the wider work of PF HERE… you can get involved in your church by praying for their work, volunteering, making donation or partnering your church with Angel Tree Mothers’ Day - find out more HERE.

You can sign up for their free prayer diary HERE.

“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison.”— Hebrews 13:3

Photo courtesy of Andrea Tummons, Unsplash

Learning sets us free...

Thirty years ago, I began my first degree in English and Education at Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University). I had been attending evening classes the previous year to brush up my Maths skills and gain an O level. I was both nervous and excited about this new venture - but once I began, I was amazed at how my mind and heart opened out and my confidence grew, with all the new things I was learning. It felt like a kind of freedom!

It is thirty years since the Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) was established. Since it started the Trust has been providing access to broader learning opportunities for prisoners to enhance their chances of building a better life after release.

After I graduated, I spent time as an Education Manager across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire which included managing education contracts for those serving prison sentences (both short and long terms, in youth and adult jails). I had the privilege and honour to see, first hand, the way that men and women actively engaged in all kinds of education and how they like me, had found a new sense of esteem and freedom through this learning. Many years later, I worked alongside a Free Church Prison Chaplain in Gloucestershire and spent time with prisoners who through their church life, worship and educational programmes were building a future full of hope.

In your church you can get involved in volunteering or fundraising for the work of PET. You can find out more information HERE.

PET’s motto is: Every prisoner a learner, every prison a place to learn

Pray with us for the work of PET, as they celebrate thirty years of service to prisoners and for the work of our Free Church Prison Chaplains across the nation.

Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist. Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care. Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others, especially the victims of crime. Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in his strength and in his Spirit, now and every day. Amen.

Prayer from http://prisonsweek.org/2018-prayer-campaign

Photo courtesy of Steve Halama @ Unsplash

Sara Iles, FCG Education Asst