Prisons Week 11th-17th October 2020

Prisoners’ Sunday is 11th October 2020

What is Prisoners’ Sunday?

Prisoners’ Sunday – this year on 11th October – is the national day of prayer and action for prisoners and their dependants as marked by the Catholic Church and across the Christian denominations. It is a day to direct our thoughts and prayers to prisoners, their families and children. Prisoners’ Sunday is the time to reflect on how we as individuals, as a Church and as a community are serving those affected by imprisonment.

Prisoners’ families, prisoners and people with previous convictions often find themselves on the margins of society due to the social stigma associated with imprisonment. They are often forgotten or come lower down on the list of causes to ‘hold a hand out to’. But the gospel of Matthew 25: 36 reminds us of our duties towards them:

 

‘ I was naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.’

What is Prisons Week?

Prisoners’ Sunday marks the first day of the ecumenical Prisons Week, a week of prayer which raises awareness of issues faced by those affected by the criminal justice system.

For families of prisoners: We pray for those loved ones who serve a hidden sentence as a result of the shame associated with having a family member imprisoned. In times of darkness we pray they are able go beyond the bonds of societal stigma and maintain positive relationships with their loved ones.

For those who work in the criminal justice system: Let us pray for those who work throughout the criminal justice system. May they continue to go beyond in their work towards creating a safer society and promote justice and mercy on the road to rehabilitation.

For victims of crime: May they be supported to go beyond their victimhood and find comfort in God’s love. Teach us to be mindful of the impact of our actions on others. Lead us and heal us in your journey to new life and hope.

For prisoners: We pray for those who are prisoners. Through reflection and understanding, may they be able to go beyond their sentence and see hope for a future without crime. Let us follow Christ’s message

Who we are

The Prison Advice and Care Trust (Pact) is a national charity that provides support to prisoners, people with convictions, and their families. We support people to make a fresh start, and minimise the harm that can be caused by imprisonment to people who have committed offences, to families and to communities.

 

What we do:

  • Build stronger families and safer communities.
  • Reduce risk of harm to prisoners and their children.
  • Remove barriers and increase awareness in public services.
  • Influence commissioning, policy and legislation.

“Pact is the major Catholic charity providing support for prisoners and their families, working in most prisons across England and Wales. This work is a direct expression of our discipleship and a very concrete expression of our desire to serve the Lord in those who are most vulnerable.”  Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Pact’s President

 

For further information on the work of Pact see:  https://www.prisonadvice.org.uk/