On Sunday 8 October, Worcester Cathedral marked Prisons' Sunday with a special service jointly planned between the Cathedral and the Diocese of Worcester Criminal Justice Affairs Group. 

The sermon was preached by the Dean, Peter Atkinson and included dialogue with Imam Mohammed Ifzal, Muslim Chaplain at HMP Hewell and with the Revd Charmian Manship, voluntary chaplain at HMP Hewell. Work with the children and families of prisoners was a particular focus of the service and prayers written by current prisoners were read by Nicki Harris and the children and families team. A display of the team's work was also on show in the Chapter House after the service. 

Charmian said: "This year’s national theme, taken from the New Testament bible reading for the day was “press on” so all speakers spoke of the need to maintain hope in what can sometimes seem a hopeless situation. Both chaplains stressed their perception of the humanity of each prisoner by referring to both the Quran and to the Bible, and both took hope from their respective scriptures. Members of the congregation commented that it was uplifting to hear people of different faiths sharing a message of hope, often against all the odds."

Doing the bible readings were Mrs Joyce Bush (chair of a previous Criminal Justice Affairs Group) and Juliet Horne, a law lecturer at Warwick University and a member of the present CJAG, and other prayers were written and read by an ex-prisoner. 

Find out more about Prisons' Week. 

See photos from the service

Listen to the Dean's sermon: