As Covid-19 hit and we were all told to stay at home, our lives changed significantly. But what has lockdown meant for prisoners? We caught up with Owain, our Prison Outreach Worker, to find out more about what’s been happening in prisons and the ways he’s still been sharing the gospel throughout this season.
What did lockdown mean for prisons?
With so many people living together, prisons are places of high risk for the spread of Covid-19. So, the national lockdown saw prisoners having to stay in their cells for 23 hours a day. This meant that all their visits, education, gym access, group work and religious services were all put on pause. And sadly, in my prison this meant we’ve not been able to go in and do our Bible studies, courses, church services and other face-to-face work. But that’s not stopped us sharing the gospel!
How have you adapted what you do so that you can still share with prisoners?
I prayed about ways that I could still engage with them during this time and an opportunity to be part of the prison radio station quickly emerged. Each week a Message show is broadcast into every prison cell. The show is full of music from our bands, testimonies, a Bible slot and prayer. We also share the gospel in every show giving the opportunity for a response. I’ve been sending weekly resource packs into the prison with the purpose of giving prisoners hope during lockdown.
What has the response been like?
One of the prison chaplains has shared that he’s seen a number of prisoners engage with the gospel more seriously than ever before. Prisoners have also told the chaplain that they’re enjoying the show and love listening to the music and testimonies.
What are your hopes for the future?
I’d love to extend the reach of the prison radio show so that it can be broadcast in more prisons throughout Wales and England. As lockdown eases slightly, we’re seeing prisons let us back in to run small groups. I can’t wait to go back in and continue sharing the gospel, and to explore new ways we can work with prisoners. I hope to see many prisoners saved by Jesus and become life-long disciples.
Read more stories about what’s been happening in prisons at message.org.uk/prisons