Released: Journeys from prison to faith and hope

 Inmates at Wandsworth prison in south London watched from their cell windows yesterday, 9 February 2005, as eleven doves were released from outside the chapel.

The doves marked the launch of Released: Journeys from prison to faith and hope, by Catholic author Greg Watts. In the book, Mr Watts talks to men who served time in prison for everything from attempted murder and armed robbery to fraud and street violence. But all the men turned their back on
crime after turning to God.

Amongst those at the launch were inmates, ex-prisoners, prison chaplains, the governor of Wandsworth and John Pridmore, a former London gangster who now works as a Catholic evangelist.

Catholic chaplain to Wandsworth Rev Peter Henhegan led a short prayer service before the doves were released. He spoke of hope, faith and freedom. "I beieve that this book will bring hope and encouragement to many prisoners," he said.

Quoting Pope John Paul's 2000 message to prisoners, Greg Watts said, "Even time in prison does not escape God's dominion. Not only does time belong to God, but that the moments in which we succeed in restoring all things in Christ become for us a time of the Lord's favour."

Some of the inmates were visibly moved as John Pridmore recounted how how he had searched for acceptance and meaning in his life through drugs, sex and violence, only to find it in God.

Released: Journeys from prison to faith and hope by Greg Watts is published by Alive Publishing, priced £6.99. Copies can be ordered direct from Alive by phoning 01782-745600, or online via Amazon on our front page.

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