“I was in prison and you came to visit me … I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” - Matthew 25:36, 40
As a church we want to change the fact that 45% of adults are reconvicted within one year of leaving prison; that the prison population in England and Wales is over 85,000 and that over the last two years, a prisoner in England and Wales has taken their own life every four days.
One Church has an active Prison Ministry which involves the church supporting two of our local prisons through running Alpha courses and Sunday services.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink” - Matthew 25:35
We regularly collect and deliver food donations to support our local Foodbank, promoting the work and partnering on events. There is a drop-off point for the Norwich Foodbank in the foyer area of The Hewett Academy every Sunday.
The Foodbank gives three days of emergency food to individuals and families in crisis. Local care professionals in the Norwich area refer people using a food voucher. At the Foodbank Centre clients exchange their voucher for food supplies; they also receive a cup of coffee, a listening ear and signposting to other professionals who can help them out of their crisis.
The Norwich Foodbank would appreciate the following items to be donated:
Fruit Juice (long life carton)
Instant Coffee (small jar)
Instant Custard (packets)
Milk (UHT long life)
Rice Pudding (tinned)
Sponge Pudding (tinned)
Tea Bags (pack of 40)
Each Christmas One Church runs Angel Tree in partnership with Prison Fellowship and HMP Norwich. Angel Tree is a programme where prisoners are given the opportunity to send their children a gift in time for Christmas day. Each Christmas One Church members will help to buy, wrap and send Christmas gifts to children on behalf of their parent who is in prison; each dad suggests the present for their child(ren) via the prison chaplaincy.
Around 200,000 children are affected by parental imprisonment in England and Wales. However, this figure is an estimate as no official record exists of children of prisoners, meaning most remain hidden from local services. Barnardo’s charity says "children with a parent in prison feel isolated and ashamed - unable to talk about their situation because they are scared of being bullied and judged".
It is vital that family relationships are maintained when someone is in prison. Good family ties don’t just help a child to feel valued and loved, but keeping in touch with family can reduce the likelihood that someone will re-offend. It’s for these reasons, as well as for the dignity of the person in prison, that the gifts are sent with tags from their parent (rather than from the church member).