Ministry to people behind bars can be amongst the most challenging. But it is also fulfilling and often greatly welcomed by the prisoners. They may feel that they are in a hopeless situation. So to hear about a loving God who doesn’t give up on them can make a real difference in their lives. There are many stories of men and women finding redemption and a living faith in God within the walls of a prison, often thanks to the ministry of a chaplain.
Chaplains are often able to help with resettlement on release, including finding a church community where people leaving prison will be welcomed. A recent initiative called The Welcome Directory lists churches that are keen to include and support those leaving prison.
Chaplains also engage with prison staff, providing faith and pastoral support to any seeking it.
Prison chaplains are employed by the prison service or the equivalent private provider. They do have to be accredited or recognised by the Baptist Union. The Union is a member of the Free Churches Group (FCG) which supports and resources prison chaplains but which also endorses Baptist ministers and pastors who wish to work in prison.
Prison chaplaincy usually takes place within a team of representatives from various Christian denominations, and often as part of a larger team of mixed faiths. If you wish to work in this sector, you should be willing and able to work with those of other traditions or faiths whilst retaining confidence in your own faith position.