The Chaplaincy is committed to serving the needs of prisoners, staff and religious traditions by engaging all human experience. G4S will work collaboratively, respecting the integrity of each tradition and discipline. The Chaplaincy believe that faith and the search for meaning directs and inspires life, and are committed to providing sacred spaces and dedicated teams to deepen and enrich human experience. They contribute to the care of prisoners to enable them to lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release.
The Chaplaincy team recognises that we live in an increasingly diverse society, and that is reflected in the prison community. Prisoners and staff come from a variety of cultural and faith backgrounds and at the heart of the Chaplaincy team’s work is ministering to everyone, irrespective of culture, faith or belief.
The Chaplaincy Team
The Chaplaincy team reflects the diversity of the prison and there are representatives from all the major faith groups. Chaplains who are Christians (Roman Catholic, Anglican and Free Church traditions), Muslims, Sikhs, Pagans and Jehovah’s Witnesses work together to ensure that prisoners have the opportunity to practice their faith whilst in prison. Currently there is not an active Buddhist Chaplain but the team work together to ensure that the faith needs of any Buddhist prisoners are met.
Additionally an army of volunteers contribute regularly to services and meetings and in doing so support the Chaplaincy team. They bring with them a wealth of experience and worship and their dedication adds another dimension to prison life, linking Chaplaincy with the community.
A Chaplain is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. The work of the Chaplaincy team is very varied but can be divided into three main groups, statutory duties, pastoral care, leading of worship and faith instruction.
Chaplaincy is an integral part of the prison and works collaboratively within the multi-disciplinary team. Team members take an active part in the Race Equality, Safer Custody and Safeguard meetings, the care of the older prisoners and work in close co-operation with the Interventions team.
Chaplaincy has a duty of care to the whole establishment. As part of this duty staff are required by Home Office regulations to make a daily visit to any prisoner in CSU or who is resident in the healthcare centre. We are also required to provide for the practice of any faith permitted in prison by finding a minister and providing a suitable environment for groups to meet for worship and teaching. The issue of religious practice in prisons is under constant review and we take advice as required from the Prisoner Administration Group, Chaplaincy Headquarters and accredited representatives of faith communities to make sure we are doing everything we should to support prisoners in the practice of their faith.
HMP & YOI Parc also accommodates up to 64 young people aged 15-17 who are either on remand or on a Detention Order. These young people come under the care of the Youth Justice Board, are accommodated in an area that is separated from the rest of the prison and a member of the Chaplaincy team visits them daily. All Chaplains who visit the Unit undertake Child Protection Training.
Pastoral care is a major part of our daily work. People who are bereaved, having relationship problems or
just feeling the pressure of being (or working) in prison often feel the need to 'talk to someone'. Our job is to provide sympathetic and non-judgemental short-term support to anyone who needs it, regardless of faith background. We are happy to be contacted in any case of need, whether emotional, spiritual or practical. Chaplaincy operates within the wider prison team and if we are not able to help, we can probably find someone who can.
Leading of worship and faith instruction
Each Chaplain is able to use the Chapel and Multi-faith room to provide corporate and individual worship and study for prisoners. A room is also available on the Vulnerable Prisoners Unit for faith groups to meet separately. In addition volunteers from Prison Fellowship facilitate three groups a week and have led Alpha and Christianity Explored, as well as general Bible Study. The Chaplaincy team are also involved in the development of a Living with Loss course and a World Faiths course, along with the implementation of The Forgiveness Project , a restorative justice programme.