The Revd Sarah Parkinson, The Anglican Chaplain at HM Prison Low Newton in Durham will feature in the first service to be recorded in prison and broadcast this weekend by the Church of England.
Recorded at three sites – Stocken prison in Rutland, Low Newton in Durham and Pentonville in London, the service, with the theme of hope, will be broadcast on Sunday (July 5).
It will include contributions from prison staff and chaplains, along with prayers, reflections and artwork written and created by prisoners. The service will be led by Revd Helen Dearnley, Anglican chaplaincy adviser for HM Prison and Probation Service.
Revd Sarah Parkinson, chaplain at HM Prison Low Newton, a closed prison for female adults and young offenders, will read prayers written by prisoners in a contribution recorded from the chapel of the prison.
Sarah said: “It was a delight to be involved and to have the spotlight on prisons in this way. It’s wonderful to hear the prayers of our residents included in the service. There is a thriving church community here at Low Newton and those who wrote the prayers took a lot of time and care over them. It’s great that they can be part of the national service”.
The Venerable Bob Cooper Archdeacon of Sunderland said: “The Church of England has chaplains within the whole of the prison service. All chaplains are valued by Her Majesty’s Prison Service and by The Church, and we particularly thank all of them working within the Diocese of Durham for their important local work.
“Our prayers are with chaplains, inmates and their families. A particular thank-you today goes to The Revd Sarah Parkinson and her colleagues at HM Prison Low Newton prison, may God’s blessing be upon them as we share worship together.”
The HashTag for this broadcast on social media is: #holdingthehope