Prisons Chaplaincy New

Have you heard about the work of the International Prison Chaplain's Association?

The International Prison Chaplain’s Association (IPCA) has its roots in Scandinavia where Prison Chaplains from Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden have held biennial conferences since 1973. The FCG Secretary for prison chaplaincy and the Free Churches Faith Adviser, Revd Bob Wilson, serves as the Vice Chair for IPCA Europe UK.

You can read more about the important work which IPCA does HERE.

Revd Bob Wilson has written about a recent IPCA Steering Committee where they explored issues with UN in Vienna in the run-up to the Crime Commission.

You can read Revd Wilson’s full article HERE

Join us as we pray for the work of IPCA and all those who work in prisons and who are serving sentences:

Lord God, Blessed are you, creator of the universe. You have called us to serve you in bringing good news to the poor and liberty to those in prison. Look with kindness upon all who serve you in this ministry, grant us the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of your mission to all. Fill our hearts with zeal and perseverance as heralds of the Gospel. Amen

May the Lord bless you, and keep you; May the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

IPCA now has six regions, Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America and more information can be found on their website at IPCA-Europe has been the strongest regional organization and has developed a life of its own with many initiatives such as a link with the Council of Europe and the C.P.T. It has always elected its own Steering Committee as well as linking in with IPCA-Worldwide and the International Commission for Prison Pastoral Care.

(photo courtesy of Thomas Dils @ Unsplash)

Clinks Training: Introduction to working and volunteering in prison


17th July, Bristol | 24th July, London | £75 members, £150 non-members

Do you have staff and volunteers who are new to working in a custodial setting?

This interactive and engaging one-day course aims to raise awareness of the prison environment and enable voluntary sector staff and volunteers to have meaningful and professional engagement with prisons.

Delegates will:

Discuss concerns and fears, and acquire a confidence boosting approach

Be guided through an up to date overview of the criminal justice system, including different elements of the prison and probation services

Gain an understanding of the prison environment and the demographics of those in custody

Consider safe and responsible working within custodial settings, and be confident working within their boundaries.

"I wanted to let you know I thought the day was excellent and very informative. It was both engaging and interactive." – Training delegate, London 2018

Each training day has a maximum of 15 places so book now to avoid disappointment.

Find out more and book here: Bristol | London

"No child should face life's struggles alone..."

This is the heartfelt goal of Spurgeons Children’s Charity: that no child should face life's struggles alone...

Spurgeons work to support churches, families and individuals to face challenges and overcome struggles. One of the area in which they work is how to support a child if one of their parents is serving time in prison. This is a difficult and confusing time for children, but Spurgeons have some helpful and hope-filled advice:

What to say to a child….

They also have resources and prayers for you and your church to use and share HERE.

Spurgeons was founded by the Baptist preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon and his associates in 1867 and the charity have been working and serving vulnerable children and families for over 150 years…. Thank God for their work!

Pray with us….

A prayer for the Lord to protect and bless the children Spurgeons works with

Loving God, for all the children you have created, we give you thanks and praise. For the young people they grow to be, we give you thanks and praise. Give us the eyes to see and ears to hear their needs. Give us soft hearts to respond to their silent call for our support and assistance. Give us open minds to be taught by children as they speak to us. Help us see how we can support work that gives young people the opportunities to realise their potential. Help us to love them like Jesus loves them; to teach and show them what is true, just and compassionate.  We pray for Spurgeons work with the 1600 young carers they support; with the 500 prisoners who look to Spurgeons for help in becoming the fathers they should be; with the 1,200 children and young people Spurgeons staff have protected from harm in the last year; and the 3,000 children and parents receiving dedicated support from Spurgeons to be stronger more stable and loving families. We lift up all of these to Your throne of grace asking for Your Spirit to heal broken lives; to carry heavy burdens resting on young shoulders; and to protect the vulnerable from abuse, harm and exploitation. Lord, hear our prayer for those you have brought into Spurgeons’ care. Use Spurgeons as Your willing hands to transform their lives in ways that bring glory and honour to Jesus. Amen.

Photo courtesy of Unpslash by Pan Xiaozhen

Restoring hope through restorative justice

Have you come across the Sycamore Tree project which is run as part of the Prison Fellowship’s work?

Sycamore Tree is a volunteer-led victim awareness programme that teaches the principles of restorative justice. It is taught in prisons in groups of up to 20 learners, over a 6-week period. Learners on the programme explore the effects of crime on victims, offenders, and the wider community, and discuss what it would mean to take responsibility for their personal actions.

Perhaps you could pray at your church for the work of volunteers who support the Sycamore Tree?

Perhaps there are events and activities you and your church could get involved with?

The Free Churches Group support chaplains working across prisons in England and Wales - you can read more about this important work HERE

From the Prison Fellowship website: Not everyone is able to volunteer and visit prisoners. But everyone can pray. Sylvia Mary Alison wrote in her memoir:

In our prayer imagination, we can enter any prison in the world, and visit Christ in prisoners there… It is Christ who beckons us into the darkest of the world’s jails. Will you cooperate with our Lord in building his house, from the ground floor up, by marching into every prison of the world in prayer?” – Sylvia Mary Alison

Photo credit Erik Holm, from Unsplash

Encounter 13 | Incarceration

Photo by  Denny Müller  on  Unsplash

How does religion play a role in our prison system?

Can faith stop prisoners reoffending?

We speak to Dr Ruth Armstrong from the Institute of Criminology in Cambridge to assess these questions before a hands on discussion with Imam Farooq Mulla and Bob Wilson, both of whom have spent years bringing their faith to the UK’s incarceration system. What are the challenges of this job? In what ways can prisoners be redeemed? And does our prison system need urgent help?

Please find out more about the Podcast on Woolf Institute’s website here.