TThe emotional and spiritual welfare of all at HMP Rye Hill is a high priority. The Chaplaincy is
a resource for both prisoners and staff, of all faiths or of none.
Full-time, part-time and sessional chaplains and ministers work together to provide opportunities for worship, prayer and study for members of any faith whose practice is permitted in prison. An increasing number of volunteers provide a valued input to pastoral care and to our programme of groups and courses.
The team currently includes ministers and volunteers from the traditions of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Paganism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Quakers, Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of the Latter
Day Saints. Rastafarianism
Members of the core team also contribute a Chaplaincy perspective on a wide range of issues within the prison such as diversity, race relations, drugs strategy and bullying.
The Multi Faith Chaplaincy
In recognition of the wide diversity of faith backgrounds in the prison population, HMP Rye Hill is fully committed to the 'Multi-Faith Chaplaincy'. This means team members from different faith backgrounds should respect, value and support each other's ministry.
All prisoners who wish to practice their faith are treated fairly. Chaplaincy staff and volunteers from all faith backgrounds receive appropriate training and support.
All staff understand the importance of faith to those who practice it and all permitted faiths are treated with equal respect. The integrity of all faith groups is maintained at all times.
Chaplaincy has a duty of care to the whole establishment. As part of this duty staff are required by Home Office regulations to make a daily visit to any prisoner in CSU or who is resident in the healthcare centre. We are also required to provide for the practice of any faith permitted in prison by finding a minister and providing a suitable environment for groups to meet for worship and teaching. The issue of religious practice in prisons is under constant review and we take advice as required from the Prisoner Administration Group, Chaplaincy Headquarters and accredited representatives of faith communities to make sure we are doing everything we should to support prisoners in the practice of their faith.
Pastoral care is a major part of our daily work. People who are bereaved, having relationship problems or
just feeling the pressure of being (or working) in prison often feel the need to 'talk to someone'. Our job is to provide sympathetic and non-judgemental short-term support to anyone who needs it, regardless of faith background. We are happy to be contacted in any case of need, whether emotional, spiritual or practical. Chaplaincy operates within the wider prison team and if we are not able to help, we can probably find someone who can.
Classes and groups
We are continually developing the range of opportunities we offer to explore faith, spirituality and personal development. All courses in the Chaplaincy are offered in the context that Faith is important. We recognise the validity of accepted moral codes and acknowledge the possibility that there is a higher power or ideal against which our actions can be judged.
Currently on offer or in development are Alpha, Bible Study, Buddhism, Choices for Change, Explaining Paganism and Qur'an classes.