Archbishop John Wilson, Vice President of Pact (the Prison Advice and Care Trust), has shared a special message of hope for prisoners as part of a unique broadcast on National Prison Radio.
Themed around the question, 'Where do you find hope?' the 40-minute radio programme featured Archbishop Wilson's poignant reflection alongside modern and traditional praise music, prayer and a reading from the Gospel. The broadcast also included a powerful interview with a former prisoner who has returned to faith.
The one-off show, curated by Pact's Chief Executive, Andy Keen-Downs, also premiered a special recording by Roger McGough, one of Britain's best-loved poets and current presenter of BBC Radio 4's 'Poetry Please'. McGough's work, 'Everything Touches', which was inspired by his Catholic faith and originally commissioned as a modern hymn, was rewritten and set to music for Pact's radio programme:
Let me breathe says the mountain
Set me free says the ocean
Keep me pure says the fountain
Let me be says the tree
Hand in hand everything touches
Everything touches LOVE touches me
Talking about the broadcast, Andy Keen Downs said: "Pact's message of hope has never been more important. As we look forward to easing lockdown in our communities, we must remember the people for whom lockdown will remain a daily reality. We must take time to reflect on how we, as individuals, as a Church and as a community, are serving those who so often find themselves on the margins of society. We encourage people of all faiths and none to hear our message of hope and join us in marking Prisoners' Sunday: a day of prayer and action for prisoners and their families."
Prisoners' Sunday - this year on 11 October - marks the start of the ecumenical Prisons Week, a national week of prayer and action to raise awareness of the issues faced by people affected by the criminal justice system.
Pact was invited to produce this radio programme as the Caritas agency working in the prison system. Catholics are the largest single faith group in prison, with over 14,000 Catholics in a population of 80,000 prisoners.
'Where do you find hope?' was broadcast on National Prison Radio on July 12.
Find out more about Prisoners' Sunday at: www.prisonadvice.org.uk/prisonerssunday#
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