Prisons Week 2017

Prisons Week 2019

We’ve got a date you need to save in your diary!

Each year, for a week in October, churches and groups are especially encouraged to pray for prisons. We want to encourage you to join this wave of prayer.

This year Prisons Week will be: 13th - 19th October.

Did you know… There are over 82,00 women and men in prison in England and Wales.

Did you know… There are over 93,000 children in England and Wales who have a parent in prison. Read that again…

93,000 children. That is more than the capacity of Wembley stadium.

As Christians, we know and feel the power of prayer. We are assured that God works in the world through His almighty grace & mercy, and hears our prayers.

The theme for Prisons Week this year is based on Psalm 111:9: what does freedom mean to you?


You can find out more and register your interest in praying during Prisons Week here:

This coming Sunday, why not chat to those in your church fellowship about this and see how you can get ready to support this wave of prayer and action in autumn.

The Free Churches Group are proud to be among the many sponsors and supporters of Prisons Week.

(photo courtesy of Nathan Dumlao at Unsplash)

Prison reform - then and now!

Did you know that The Howard League is the oldest penal reform charity in the UK?

Did you also know that it was set up in the name of John Howard, who was an active free church member?

The Howard League was founded in memory of one of England’s earliest prison reformers, John Howard (1726-1790). The League are still active in all sorts of work and play a vital role in prison reform.

For over 150 years the Howard League for Penal Reform is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. They work with parliament and the media, with criminal justice professionals, students and members of the public, influencing debate and forcing through meaningful change to create safer communities.

They campaign on a wide range of issues. Recent programmes have focused on transforming prisons, reducing child arrests, promoting real work in custody, and ending the criminalisation of children in residential care. They use our legal work to transform and shape the law for children and young people.

Free Churches Group and Free Church chaplains continue to play a key role in the lives of prisoners and prison staff, to support and pastor men and women. You can read more about the work of FCG in prisons in England and Wales HERE.

Let us give thanks for the work of the Howard League over the last 150 years, giving thanks to God for the brave and active work they do in making the lives of prisoners healthier and rehabilitative.

Let us pray

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 activities
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.

Photo courtesy of Mitch Rosen at Unsplash

Prisons Week 2017, 8-14 October 2017

PW logo.jpg

"Press On"

Prisons Week Runs from 8-14 October 2017. Prayer leaflets are freely available for churches and individuals to join in prayer across the UK. You can order the leaflet via Prisons Week website here or email: info@prisonsweek.org or download here.

Watch Prisons Week 2017 video here. "Press On", written and performed by Kenny Baraka, for Prisons Week 2017

Full Script below ...

    

 

 

To our Mother, ‘art in heaven,
beg you listen, will be done,
’til the system is that,
we birds of a feather ‘ere we PRESS ON!

To our Father, ‘art in heaven,
beg you listen, kingdom come,
from the beginning ’til we get there, altogether, pray we PRESS ON!

Pled to the larceny, conspiracy, possession with intent but man they swear down it was those grievously bodied that I was shipped for.
When really though, was no impulse control [I] should’ve been charged with plus the mash at my nan’s, ‘nother 7 years on the re-up,
but then just 6 years later,
release me for good behavior,
in the hopes that I would slowly transition [right] back into the fold.
It’s like trying to breathe underwater but when going back’s not option
I’m learning to walk on water God’s son forever. PRESS ON!

And we let you know you aren’t alone,
we family go though it with you,
feel your pain down in our bones.
Funny how you rarely hear about the ones they left at home though in the wake of all that happened,
left a lot of broken homes.
A double shift just trying to make it better for you when you [get] home.
Or how our house is not a home since you been gone, things been different.
But we visiting just the same,
not going through this on your own.
So, when your strength start to weaken here’s a shoulder for you to PRESS ON!

Answer the phone when duty calling
but living a life both in and outside of them prison walls.
Seeing both things for how they could and too often they really are,
could drive anyone [of] us insane,
I hear ya man.
Keep ya head up.
whether helping better themselves ‘til their sentence is done,
or helping them stay safe, a hero’s work’s never done though.
Try and tell them in the end,
when all’s been said you done seen that their mind is the only prison,
hope they listen,
may you PRESS ON!

And as a servant of the court,
you swore an oath: uphold the law over all the things you believe in.
But when the bailiff’s underpaid,
the caseworker’s understaffed,
and the clerks so overworked they postponing every arraignment.
Then the justice system isn’t,
even half [of] what you was taught.
But keep your promise that like stenographer’s keys
that you PRESS ON!

But y’all don’t hear me,
what I’m saying is if we all this ship together, effects ripple the pond
So, whatever part of that prison life you isn’t or are,
Whatever postcode,
Borough,
Or estates that you from.
From all the innocent victims,
not falling a victim to it.
Whose getting back on their horses.
It’s just it wasn’t your fault, PRESS ON!

To mothers scared to let their kids out,
Shopkeepers keeping the kids out.
To you kids who keep pulling your knives out,
snake keep eating its tail.
It’s a vicious cycle,
vultures circle, man, woman and child.
So, regardless of your religion,
it’s only when all of us God’s children,
all finally come together that her will will be done.
When all us shoulder to shoulder,
all soldiers in God’s army all making it out the valley,
that his kingdom has come.
So in essence this call to prayer,
is really a call to arms that we PRESS ON!

In Christ’s name we pray, can I get an amen?!
To our Mother, ‘art in heaven,
beg you listen, will be done,
’til the system is the,
we birds of a feather’s ‘ere we PRESS ON!

To our Father, ‘art in heaven,
beg you listen, kingdom come,
from the beginning ’til we get there, altogether, pray we PRESS ON!

Prisons Week 2017

8th - 14th October 2017

8th - 14th October 2017

 A week of prayer

     "Press On"

 

‘Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my
goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took
hold of me.’ Philippians 3:12 (NIV)

Prisons Week aims to encourage prayer and awareness of the needs of prisoners and their families, victims of offenders, prisons staff and all those who care, reflected in the Prisons Week Prayer offered throughout the week:

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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 activities 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.

 

 

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby writes:

The Apostle Paul here speaks as someone who knows the pain of endurance and hopelessness. Tortured and beaten, in prison many times for his faith, he nonetheless spoke to fellow prisoners about the hope he had found in Jesus. He had started as offender, hurting and maiming others, but found forgiveness and new life in Jesus. Yet life did not magically grow easier; instead he had to learn to live with his past, and face an uncertain present of false accusations and persecution for his faith. He was someone kept alive by hope, who endured and persevered in the face of desperate circumstances.

What better inspiration for all those connected to the criminal justice system, than Paul’s words? For the victims who struggle day by day to live with memories and scars, and hope for a better tomorrow; for the staff, who patiently come alongside broken men and women, and walk with them the slow road towards change; for prisoners themselves, trying to make sense of their lives, fighting against the scars and choices of the past and fear of the future; and for the families and friends of those in prison, faithfully visiting and supporting. Paul encourages all not to give up hope, but keep their eyes on the goal, keep going. Yet this isn’t about making efforts and working harder. It is about recognising that in Jesus, God has already ‘taken hold’ of us. That victims, prisoners, staff and families, are not walking this road alone, but God, who loves them, is ready to walk with them. In Prison Week, we stand in prayer with all who carry on in hope, that they would know they are loved by God and have the faith and courage to press on towards new life.

The Most Rev. and the Rt Hon. the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Each day of the week, a new prayer brings into focus a different group affected by prison or criminal justice. Churches and individuals are also asked to reflect on what they might do or offer as part of their response, through the range of Christian agencies and charities involved in supporting Prisons Week.

Download the Prayer Leaflets here and more information please visit here.