News from Pact

Prisoners’ Sunday: A Fresh Start

Pact, the national Catholic prisons charity, is now very busy in the Archdiocese of Birmingham area as it prepares to mark Prisoners’ Sunday this weekend (Sunday 9 October).

Having recently won additional contracts, Pact (Prison Advice & Care Trust) will be providing family services in 10 prisons here as well as our substantial work in the community.

In the Archdiocese, Pact is working in the following prisons: HMPs Hewell, Birmingham, Swinfen Hall, Brinsford, Oakwood, Stafford, Onley, Huntercombe, Bullingdon and Long Lartin.

This Sunday we invite parish communities to join in prayer and support for Prisoners’ Sunday: A Fresh Start.

The charity’s CEO, Andy Keen-Downs, said: "We are very much looking forward to widening our support for prisoners and their families in the area. Our roots are in the Catholic church and the values that drive Pact remain those of Catholic Social Teaching. We believe in dignity and in helping people to make a fresh start whatever they may have done. Our Faith in Action Team will be reaching out to Catholic people in the Archdiocese. I invite you to meet us, work with us, volunteer with us, pray, and demonstrate the values of our faith together. At Pact we are constantly inspired by Jesus’ invitation: ‘I was in prison and you visited me’. "

A message from Cardinal Vincent Nichols: "As President of Pact, I invite you to join with me in supporting Prisoners’ Sunday on 9th October 2022. Pact is the major Catholic charity for the support of prisoners and their families, working in prisons across England and Wales. It is good to know that Pact is there for people of all faiths and none, supporting prisoners and their families on our behalf and with our help."

Pact Prisoners’ Sunday information and resources

Andy added: "Our work in prisons and communities across England and Wales ensures that prisoners, children and families are supported; and their dignity is respected and upheld. Where appropriate we help families to make a fresh start together and live lives which bear good fruit. By supporting prisoners to be restored to the community, our work makes communities safer – research shows that prisoners who have good family relationships are 39% less likely to return to crime."

On behalf of His Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), Pact operates the national Prisoners’ Families Helpline. Our dedicated team of caring staff and volunteers provide vital signposting, information and guidance seven days a week, helping with a wide range of concerns. We dealt with more than 36,000 calls in the last 12 months.

Our Faith in Action team supports Catholic people and parishes to encounter the voices of people in our communities with lived experience of the criminal justice system, to reflect on Catholic Social Teaching, and to put faith into action. We offer our JustPeople workshops, Diocesan events, and a supported network of Pact Parish Representatives.

Please get in touch if you would like someone to speak briefly about Pact’s work at Mass on Prisoners’ Sunday: [email protected]

We humbly request that you consider taking up a second collection to support the work of Pact in the year ahead. Your support means we can do more for prisoners and their families.

Ecumenical Service in Northfield to mark Prisons Week