Prisons Week 2020: United in Lockdown
As many of us have had an insight this year into what it's like to be in lockdown, individual Christians and Churches are invited to pray for those who remain behind physical and emotional bars during Prisons Week which runs from Sunday 11 to Saturday 17 October.
Taking place for the last four decades, 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 to make a difference for people who are out of sight and often out of mind.
The organisers, who are representatives of Christian denominations and Christian organisations working in prisons or supporting prisons ministry, have prepared day-by-day prayer literature to enable the Christian community to pray for the needs of all those affected by prisons. Each day focuses on a different group of people: 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.
The prayer guides are available on the Prisons Week website
There is also a powerful introductory film to share:
The ecumenical background
Prisons Week 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, the week became known as Prisons Week .