We are encouraging faith communities to approach becoming part of The Welcome Directory using a similar process. The process letter explains how we envisage faith communities registering in the directory.
Please read the introductory notes in order to get the most from the sessions. This is a guide for the designated facilitator in order to best prepare for the sessions so the group can get the most out them. However, some group leaders have encouraged all members to read the notes so that they understand the context of the sessions and what the hoped for outcome is. Download Start Here.
Session 1: Beyond the prison gates
What do you think about people leaving prison? Many prisons stand enclosed behind a 25ft fence and unless it is an open prison, most prisoners are confined to often cramped cells for much of the time, hidden away from the general public; forgotten.
Many of our ideas about prisons and prisoners are learnt from movies or stories in newspapers; many of those views can be biased, outdated or unhelpful, particularly as we think about welcoming people who have spent time in prison into the heart of faith communities on the outside. Unless we have experienced it for ourselves, it can be hard to understand the consequences of a prison sentence and what support can make a difference.
This first session will introduce you to themes, ideas and information designed to lead you to a greater understanding of the issues surrounding imprisonment and release.
FILM ONE DOWNLOAD - HOPES
Preparing for the prison session
We want to encourage each participant to take a copy of the preparation sheet to read before session two. It will give you a really good overview of the role of prison and prison chaplains.
FILM TWO DOWNLOAD - CONNECTIONS
Session 2: Faith in prison
So what is a prison like? What happens when someone is released? Leaving prison and trying to settle in another community can be like standing at the foot of a cliff. Climbing up can be difficult and it is easy to fall! A guide and the right supports can make the climb easier.
This second session is based in a resettlement prison and will be hosted by people who belong to the various faith communities represented within the prison. It is to be run from within the establishment by the prison chaplaincy team. The session worksheet will be provided by your hosts at the prison.
Session 3: Who we are
Faith communities can offer a spiritual home, a friendly community of steady and supportive relationships as well as appropriate practical assistance to people leaving prison.
This third session explores the connections between faith communities at their best and some of the aspects research has shown are important to help people leaving prison to build towards a new life that is free from crime.
FILM THREE DOWNLOAD - COMMUNITY