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 prisoners 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 prisoners.
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.