Commendation from
Secretary of the Methodist Conference

Commendation from Revd Dr JONATHAN HUSTLER
Secretary of the Methodist Conference

As the Secretary of the Methodist Conference, I am pleased to be able to support the work of The Welcome Directory. In the Methodist Church, we seek to welcome in safety all who wish to be part of the life of the Church, whether through worship, learning and caring, service or evangelism; our calling is to be a hospitable community, open to those who would seek to follow Christ and disciplined in our care for the vulnerable.  

 The Welcome Directory strikes me as being a careful approach to helping people who leave prison to begin to live the sort of lives both they and our society needs. It balances the powerful concept of true welcome for all, irrespective of history, while not ignoring the extra measures that need to be taken to maintain that welcome safely in all cases. The concept behind the Welcome Directory is a simple but a powerful one that speaks of the possibility of belonging, growing and living in peace together. 

The Welcome Directory exists to help Christian churches and other faith communities identify as being welcoming to prison leavers through a registration scheme, and I would want to encourage Methodist Churches up and down the country to consider registering to help to build a network of communities where prison leavers can continue their Christian faith journey. With appropriate safeguarding advice, the Church can help those who want to make a new start in life; indeed, it is central to our calling to do so.  “You are welcome here” is a simple but powerful statement to a prison leaver that offers hope and a Church that has done the careful and costly work to be able to say that is a witness to the all-embracing love of God in Jesus our Lord.  

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