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12 January 2015

Prisoners set free

Prisoners set free

Prisoners are experiencing forgiveness and finding release from guilt through a new course written specifically for those in prison by Time for Change Ministries

The eight session course aims to help prisoners know God's forgiveness, forgive themselves and forgive others, using the account of David and Bathsheba.

Comments from prisoners who have completed the course include: "I don't feel so weighed down as I did", "I feel more aware of God in my life", and "My thought patterns and behaviour have changed".

Prison chaplains have been equally positive. One said: "The Guilt and Forgiveness Course has proven invaluable in working with offenders who are struggling to forgive themselves. It enables them to understand what the reality of forgiveness is and it opens up to them the idea of being forgiven by God and how this gift is freely given to them in and through Jesus' death on the cross. In doing the course I saw offenders really move forward". 

Set up in 2012, Time for Change Ministries aims to write resources that clearly expound the Bible and present the gospel, while taking into account certain factors that specifically affect prisoners. These factors include the average literacy level of a UK prisoner, prevalent mental health issues, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and emotional and psychological vulnerability. The result is an interactive, relevant and engaging presentation of the Bible.

Other Time for Change Ministries resources include free downloadable Bible studies and a mental health seminar written by two doctors with experience of the prison environment, to help those involved in prison ministry to understand the mental health issues faced by prisoners.

Time For Change Ministries is run by Gillian Pegler who co-wrote the Christianity Explored Prison Edition and is a chaplain at HMP Cardiff.