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Alan’s legacy of love

Alan Dorman was a Volunteer with Prison Fellowship for nearly a decade. Although he had semi-retired from his career as a civil engineer, you could say he never really stopped working.

Alan had absolute confidence in the forgiveness of God and spent the last years of his life keeping very busy as a regular Group Facilitator in HMP Highdown, as well helping out at HMP Brixton, HMP Wormwood Scrubs and HMP Wandsworth.

Having become a Christian as a student at Cambridge, meeting his wife, Sue, on a Scripture Union beach mission, spending many years involved in leading children’s groups and home groups at his church in Cheam, Surrey, he came into contact with Prison Fellowship in retirement.

Sue and Alan first joined the Prison Fellowship prayer group in Banstead. It was Sue who first went on to become a Sycamore Tree Group Facilitator. Sue recalls, ‘Right away, I knew Alan would be brilliant at Sycamore Tree.’

Sue continues, ‘Alan loved people. He was a good listener and a good talker, too! He was a real people person and people were always very comfortable in his presence.

‘One of his favourite Bible passages was John 14. But he would often ask, “Why do people stop at verse 7?”’

It is a good question! If we read on, we can see Jesus said, ‘Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing.’ And these words had a real impact on Alan. ‘Something shone out of Alan,’ smiles Sue. ‘He showed Jesus to people. He was very patient, very kind. That made him eminently suitable for prison ministry.’

Years of work with young people at church, through an Explorers’ group, helped prepare Alan for prison ministry. He loved children and made them feel like they mattered. He carried these skills with him into prison.

Another of Alan’s favourite Bible passages is from Psalm 92.

Underlined in his Bible, it reads, ‘The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age.’ 

Alan continued to serve Prison Fellowship well beyond the time he could have been forgiven for hanging up his hat, with his service definitely continuing to bear fruit. Sue reflects, ‘The blessing was a two way thing. He blessed those in prison and and we were blessed through them.’

Sue chose Prison Fellowship as one of the memorial charities for Alan’s funeral. She explains, ‘It’s fabulous work and there’s so much to do. You just know that donations would be put to the best use. I would encourage anyone thinking about it to do the same.’

Alan’s legacy of love and service will continue to live on through the countless lives touched and transformed by Prison Fellowship’s mission of hope and restoration.

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Prison Fellowship is so grateful for the legacy our Volunteers leave through their tireless work. If you would like to talk to us about memorial gifts or legacies, please click here Your Legacy – Prison Fellowship or contact

This article was first published in our quarterly magazine in:sight. You can sign up to receive our free magazine by post or via email by visiting

“I can honestly say that I never had as much satisfaction when I worked as I do now as a volunteer.” — Arthur, Chaplaincy Support volunteer

Volunteer with PF

Volunteers are the life-blood of our organisation, and what they do in the lives of those in prison and as they pray, is incredibly valuable. If you are looking to use your time to support some of the most marginalised people in our society to transform their lives, then volunteering could be for you.

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