The Bishop for Prisons, Bishop Richard Moth was in prison (Feltham Young Offenders) last week to launch a new ‘Morning and Evening Prayer Book for People in Prison’, published by Bible Alive. Already in its second edition, the initial print run of 7,000 flew of the shelves and as a result another 15,000 more have been printed – a number which reflects the number of Catholic prisoners in England and Wales.
About the prayer book, one young inmate at Feltham, Joseph said:
“This book is something powerful – it is spectacular.
“When I first came in, I was lost; I would pray, but not pray 100%. I was broken in my soul; I was very depressed, I would only come out of my cell to shower.
“This book has lifted my inner spirit.
“My best prayer is Monday evening prayer – Psalm 14 ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.’
“I pray for a lot of people outside – people who suffer in other countries; the sick, the people who get misled by other people.
“I thank everyone for creating this booklet. This booklet is something special. I have even got extra booklets for when I go outside. I’ve got one for outside and one for here.”
Another prisoner in Leeds said “This is just what I needed to add to my prayers each day and would recommend this to any inmate or any person looking to get closer to our Lord.”
Cardinal Nichols has also commended the prayer book:
“I am glad to recommend this prayer book to you. It is easy to use, each and every day. These are the prayers of the whole Catholic Church. Using this book, saying these prayers, takes you beyond the walls within which you are confined. These prayers make you part of a single voice of prayer which rises up to God from every corner of the world. Your voice is no longer shut in. It is freed by becoming part of a great company of prayer, including monks and nuns who live enclosed lives, priests, sisters, deacons, teachers, parents and so many others.
“Pray for them. They will pray for you. Join in! Reach out from yourself! Learn to listen to God in prayer and you will find rest for your souls.
“And don’t forget to pray for me.
“May God bless you always.”
The first edition of the ‘Morning and Evening Prayer for People in Prison’ was funded by Bible Alive and subsequent funding has been received through the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
As well as launching the prayer book, Bishop Richard Moth celebrated Mass for the prisoners in Feltham’s Catholic chapel and took part in a question and answer session.