For the City - Prison Ministry Update

 

‘A changed and transformed prisoner can help change society’

The Prison Ministry has a vision to see prisoners know they are loved, worthy and that they can be free. We want to see people in prison know that they are welcome in God’s kingdom and in our church and we want to give prisoners the gift of God’s grace.

We’ve been visiting HMP Ford for 18 months; working with the managing chaplain and his team, offering to support the men who are released from there, and hosting about 40 men for a short church service on Sunday evenings. On Sunday, 14 of us headed to HMP Ford for our sixth chapel service – and it was the best yet!

Doing church in prison brings a whole new meaning to the revitalisation of the church. We’re preaching, worshipping and serving in a context that desperately needs the gospel, and prisoners love it! Revitalisation of the church is bringing life into old buildings, but it’s also bringing church to the people who need it most.

When Lisa and I began the Prison Ministry two years ago, we wanted to be part of the 900+ prisons around the world that run Alpha. After many prayers and discussions we’re so excited that in 2019, we get to start to train a team and take them into HMP Ford to begin running Alpha. This is such a great chance to really get into the re-evangelisation of a group of people who are in a place where they are often forgotten. Alpha for Prisons is a dynamic and engaging way to build relationships with the men in HMP Ford!

Have a watch of this video from Alpha for Prisons about how crucial churches are to prisoners and chaplains alike!

Our services at HMP Ford run quarterly and have a similar model to the 10.30am service. We have worship, a short and relatable talk and a time for the team to get to know the men in prison. Our next service is on Easter Sunday and I think it’s going to be incredible!

If you’d like to get involved in anything to do with the Prison Ministry (Alpha, Sundays or have experience in housing/employment) please do get in touch by emailing lauren@harbourchurchportsmouth.org.


Jessica Elliott