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Peter Macdiarmid/PA Wire
UK News

Churches urged to reach inmates leaving prison

The Community Chaplaincy Association hopes stronger engagement would stop inmates abandoning a journey to faith they may have started behind bars during meetings with a prison chaplain.

National Secretary, Matt Wall told Premier it's important ex-offenders receive hope. "We need to come back to the fact that we believe that each person is made in God's image," he explained.

"It's about treating prisoners with respect, treating them as people of value who we believe can have a positive future with the right structures around them to support them to make a fresh start."

Supported by Christian groups including Caring for Ex-Offenders and the Prison Fellowship, this year's Prisons Week is a week-long prayer campaign running between 8th-15th October

The annual initiative - which has run for 40 years - is encouraging believers to intercede not just for inmates but also their relatives, prison staff and the various charities who work in prisons.

Explaining how families can be supported, Matt Wall explained: "With families, it's about bringing a sense of compassion and care to people who've often faced many, many difficulties and challenges - crime and prison being just one - often an expression of other underlying issues that families are having to deal with."

Churches are being invited to use the following prayer: "Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist. Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care.

"Heal those who have been wounded by the activities of others, especially the victims of crime. Help us to forgive one another. To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in His strength and in His Spirit, now and every day. Amen."

Click here to listen to Premier's Eno Adeogun speaking with Matt Wall at the Community Chaplaincy Association:

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