Today (Sunday 13th) marks the start of the week of prayer for prisons. We welcomed Revd Emma Higgins, Prison Chaplain at HMP Gartree to preside and preach at our 10am service. We also heard from two members of our congregation who are involved in different ways within the Criminal Justice System, Graham who volunteers with the Independent Monitoring Board and Rachel who works with the Jobcentre, helping prisoners to get jobs when released.
The theme for this year's week of prayer is "What does Freedom mean for You?"
He sets his people free. He made his agreement everlasting. He is holy and wonderful.’ Psalm 111:9 (NCV
"God’s will and intention for all his people is freedom – the freedom to be the people he created them to be. As Prison Chaplains we work with people who often find it hard to believe that God has any interest in them or their lives. They struggle with the concept that they are made in the image of God and do not dare to hope that they may have a future in God which does not involve crime, arrest and imprisonment. In the same way, those whose lives have been marred by crime and its effects, or whose work brings them into daily contact with its destructiveness, often struggle to see a new future in which the promise of freedom in Christ might be fulfilled. This Prisons Week we give thanks that the freedom which God offers is available to all, even to those whose liberty has been temporarily or permanently taken away by society. As we pray together for all those who come into contact with the criminal justice system in any way, we share in that work of establishing God’s covenant of redemption – that each person, precious to God, might discover what freedom can truly mean for them."
The Ven. James Ridge, Chaplain General/Head of Faith Services, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service
Source : https://prisonsweek.org