Three of our younger volunteers tell us about their involvement in prison ministry.
While at university in Bristol, I mentored an ‘at-risk of repeat offending’ boy as well as volunteering in a homeless shelter. Through both of those experiences, I met people who were heading towards prison and those who had spent a lifetime in and out of one. That led me to a Google search of Christian prison charities where I found Prison Fellowship (PF). Not much later, I attended a Sycamore Tree training course as well as visiting two local prisons for the final week of the programme.
My involvement with PF has varied as my work and life has changed. I started out while training as an accountant in London — managing to take days off or working very early in order to support Sycamore Tree courses in my local prison. My wife and I also moved to Australia for a year. I was passionate to be involved with the work of PF in Australia, so I sat on the PF Queensland committee and helped deliver some of their first Sycamore Tree courses a few hours west of Brisbane. Since being back in the UK, I have been a Trustee of PF England and Wales and more recently become the Treasurer.
Prison ministry is transformative for all involved. Being in a prison and seeing God at work strengthens my faith. The impact that you can have in prison as a witness to God’s love, is like no other place. PF—with its history, people and mission—has given me a richer life, growing my faith and challenging my preconceptions.
For information on becoming a PF volunteer, please visit prisonfellowship.org.uk/get-involved