THE VISION: Prison Ministry
The Prison Ministry at Harbour Church has one primary goal; To see that the very poorest in our society, know they are loved, and that they are important. We want to see prisoners know what Jesus has done for them, we want to see our churches brimming with people from all backgrounds and we want to see lives transformed by the power of God.
We have a unique opportunity to do God's work, to bring his kingdom to those who are in need of it the most.
A team of 15/20 of us go into HMP Ford, a Cat D prison holding 550 men, and run a Sunday service in the chapel there once a term. We're so blessed to be able to share this time with prisoners, God meets with them in so many ways and we really feel like this is a chance for us to encounter and experience something of what heaven will be like, when ALL meet with Jesus and ALL experience the love and transformation only He can bring.
Over 50% of people leaving prison will re-offend within one year in the UK. That statistic is the highest in Europe. Lack of stable and meaningful employment, poor housing options and broken relationships are cited as being the main cause of reoffending in this country. We can't change the way our society is working, but what we can do is offer a helping hand. Mentoring of ex-offenders has been proven to help prevent reoffending. The reconviction rate for those involved in a mentoring program drops by nearly 30%, which is incredible.
At Harbour Church, we want to be a church who's doors is open to anyone, but we also want to be able to support people where they are at. We want to be able to come alongside someone leaving prison and be able to help them get their life back on track, to access the support they need and to be integrated into a loving and open church community.
Prisoners are the forgotten minority. They have done bad things, but they are not bad people. They, like the rest of us, need to know they are loved, forgiven and have endless chances to be renewed.
President Barack Obama once said 'We believe that when people make mistakes, they deserve the opportunity to remake their lives', and if that isn't the message of the Gospel, then I don't know what is.
If you would like to be involved in what the Prison Ministry is doing, there are 3 ways you can help;
- Join the team! (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Give financially to the vision of Harbour Church Portsmouth.
- Join in by praying. (If you'd like to receive monthly prayer points, please send your email address to Lauren).