Chaplaincy Support

Prison Fellowship’s chaplaincy work has a huge potential for changing lives, but of all the work that our volunteers do, it is perhaps the hardest to explain! Chaplaincy Support looks different in every prison, and volunteers fill many different roles.

Stephen Hawkins, PF’s Operations Manager, says, “We see our role as blessing Chaplaincy with the help and volunteers they need, using the gifts our volunteers have to support not just PF’s programmes, but all the vital services that Chaplains offer.”

Prison Chaplaincies are a multi-faith team inside the prison that care for the spiritual and emotional well-being of people in prison, and help with some aspects of prisoner rehabilitation. People in prison often have limited opportunities to spend time outside their cells in meaningful activities, so the services that Chaplaincy offer can be a lifeline.

There is a wealth of research that indicates that involvement in religious practices, such as services and Bible studies, positively impacts how those in prison perceive themselves, and how they interact with their surroundings. PF volunteers in Chaplaincy get to see this impact first hand.

Led by the individual chaplains themselves, PF Volunteers assist chaplaincies in a wide variety of ways. Examples include assisting with services and small groups that happen in the Chaplaincy, providing practical support and visiting those in prison.

Pastoral Care

We are delighted that PF has been asked, alongside the bereavement support charity Cruse, to support HMPPS Chaplaincy in their pastoral care for people in prison.

The nature of being in prison leads many to experience profound feelings of loss. This may arise from a bereavement or from simply being separated from family and friends. Whatever the cause, people in prison are often deeply affected by the emotional impact of loss and prison Chaplains play a key role in their pastoral care.

This initiative is currently in development with a nationwide rollout expected to be at the end of 2023.

Register your interest in taking part in this exciting new initiative by filling in the volunteer application form.

How can I get involved?

All our Chaplaincy Support work is run through PF’s local groups, who build a relationship with the Chaplains and ensure our volunteers are meeting a real need in that prison. If you are interested in volunteering in chaplaincy, the first step is to apply to be a PF volunteer, and if you are approved, we will connect you with your local group who will be your guide and support as you get involved. Please be aware that in order to go into prison, you must also complete the prison’s own security process, which can take some time, and is independent of PF’s application process, so we appreciate your patience as you begin engaging in this important ministry!
Our local groups are the central way PF works in prison chaplaincies. Those groups are supported by a small but efficient Support Team who manage the volunteer recruitment process, keep groups updated about changes in the prison sector, and provide support and encouragement to our volunteer Group Leaders. Even a small investment into this support structure can enable our skilled, motivated volunteers to do so much more!

— Pray for our chaplaincy work

Prison and chaplaincy staff work hard in challenging environments. Will you support them in prayer?