May 062014
 

I recently had a conversation with an acquaintance about working in prisons. He said he thought it might be a good thing that there was something else for ‘crims’ to do inside, apart from ‘just shanking and bumming each other’. It struck me as an ineptly light-hearted comment, born more of privilege and ignorance than of malice, and I did my best to look past it, and talked vaguely about how I think there is human potential in dark places. At the time, I had neither the energy nor the clarity to confront him more vigorously, weary as it made me. “It is a dreadful indictment of our society and Read full post >>

Jan 262013
 

A couple of weeks back I wrote about the prison closures that had been announced, and my concerns about their impact on prisoners. My visits to the affected prisons earlier this week suggested these concerns were well-founded. I’ve written a post on the work blog about it, which you can view by clicking here.

Jan 102013
 

At the office today we received the news that two of the prisons where we work are going to close. We heard through the BBC, having had no previous warning. I have my views on the closures, which I posted to my Facebook profile earlier but have since removed, since on reflection I think it’s better to keep them to myself. I don’t speak for the charity. A friend has, however, posted the text of a letter he wrote to his MP after reading my original post. His letter reminded me that while governments are elected, entitled and expected to take difficult decisions such as these all the time, they Read full post >>

Dec 152012
 

Back at the start of November I went to Secret Cinema. For those that don’t know, it works like this: you buy a ticket and turn up at a predetermined location in character and in costume; details of who you are and what you should wear are sent out to you in advance, like a fancy dress party. You are then plunged into the world of the film you are going to see. Locations have been found that resemble the film. For two or three hours events from the film play out and you’re right in the middle of them. It’s very realistic, with high production values and lots of Read full post >>

Dec 042012
 

I’ve just come back from a meeting of the charity trustees I work with, trying to set up a community chaplaincy project in South London. This has been an interesting venture for me. I was invited to get involved, and initially did so because I thought it might mean some CV points. I bring my own point of view to the objectives but I buy into them enough that I was prepared to give it a shot. The work has not always been easy, and I’ve had moments of thinking I might quit. But today we had a big fillip – some news that we had secured most of the remaining Read full post >>