“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 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 (see poster below):
Long Life Fruit Juice
Long Life Sponge Pudding
Tinned Meat (e.g. ham, chicken in sauce, mince etc.)
Toothbrush & Paste
One Church partners with Tearfund on their ‘Connected Church’ programme and we work with an organisation called ZOE (Zimbabwe Orphans Through Extended Hands). We have committed to raising money and praying for the charity’s work.
To give you a bit of background on why we partner with ZOE
HIV has crippled communities in Zimbabwe, leaving an estimated 890,000 orphans and vulnerable children. Children in this situation are at a much higher risk of dropping out of school, becoming victims of abuse and living in extreme poverty. Without support, many vulnerable children leave for urban areas where they fall into begging or working in exploitative labour in order to survive. Tragically some even turn to prostitution. ZOE encourages churches to take responsibility and care for these children.
ZOE trains the church to stand in the gap - blessing vulnerable families by drawing them into God’s family and providing them with skills and livelihoods.
Because of their place at the centre of a community, churches are able to identify the children most at risk, but often they just don’t know how to help. ZOE trains and mentors the church members for up to three years so they will know how to react in even the darkest situations. Churches are trained in providing psychosocial support to children and their families. They organise kids clubs and run livelihoods training for families.
So not only will our support make a huge difference to children and families in Zimbabwe, but we as a church will be able to learn a lot from the way these churches care for the people in their communities.
There are two key ways in which you can get involved in this exciting new partnership:
Join our Fundraising Group
Join a group of people from One Church who are committed to sharing ideas, planning events and arranging activities to raise money for the life changing work of ZOE.
Commit to praying for the work of ZOE
Pray for the work of ZOE, for the churches who are reaching out to their communities and for the families and children who are in need.
For more information, please contact the Church Office.
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).