Prisons Week 2016
“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” - Matthew 25:35-36+40
Many Churches are active in providing hospitality to those who are elderly, poor, lonely or homeless, while others have an incredible ministry visiting the sick and infirm; but fewer churches reach out to prisoners either practically or through prayer.
Jesus made it clear that he had a heart for prisoners and all those ‘in chains’ and that we should too.
Prisons Week helps individual Christians and Churches to pray for the needs of all those affected by prisons: prisoners and their families, victims of crime and their communities, those working in the criminal justice system and the many people who are involved in caring for those affected by crime on the inside and outside of our prisons.
Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and support with your love. Heal those who have been wounded by activities of others, especially victims of crime. And help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ.
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Join in with Prisons Week and find out more:
Twitter – www.twitter.com/PrisonsWeek
Facebook – www.facebook.com/PrisonsWeek/
Website - www.prisonsweek.org
2016 Prayer Leaflet – http://prisonsweek.org/2016-prayer-campaign#resources
Visit the website
For forty years now, Prisons Week has prepared prayer literature and resources to enable the Christian community, through individuals and churches, to pray for the needs of all those affected by prisons: prisoners and their families, victims of crime and their communities, those working in the criminal justice system and the many people who are involved in caring for those affected by crime on the inside and outside of our prisons.
Prisons Week raises awareness and generates prayer. It motivates volunteers to step forward and give their time and gifts, in prisons and in their own communities. It provides an annual focus and reason for Christians to work together, building capacity and motivation to make a difference for people who are out of sight and often out of mind.
Prisons Sunday – the second Sunday in October – marks the beginning of the week of prayer each year, running through until the following Saturday. Many churches use Prisons Sunday as an opportunity to have a special focus on ‘remembering those who are in prison’.
Prisoners’ Week began in England and Wales in 1975. The Prisoners’ Week Committee, consisting of Prison Chaplains and other Christians involved in work with prisoners and their families, was formed to encourage prayer within churches and the wider Christian community for the needs of prisoners. They produced a prayer and information leaflet for use on the third Sunday in November, designated Prisoners’ Sunday, with the week observed until the following Saturday.
It had its beginnings as a Roman Catholic initiative started by Bishop Victor Guazzelli, but quickly gained ecumenical support and became an ecumenical observance, receiving the patronage of: The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of Westminster, the Archbishop of Wales and the Moderator of the Free Churches Group.
In 1993 Prisoners’ Week became a registered charity and in 1995, seeking to focus attention not only on the needs of prisoners but on all those involved and affected by prison (including prisoner’s families, victims of crime, prison staff, those working in other parts of criminal justice and many volunteers) the week became known as Prisons Week, and the committee known as the Prisons Week Committee. In 2016, Prisons Week was moved to October.
Prisons Week is overseen a Board of Reference and smaller Working Groups consisting of representatives of Christian denominations and Christian organisations working in prisons or supporting prisons ministry. All members are voluntary and meet several times a year to guide and continue the work of Prisons Week.
Find out more: prisonsweek.org