Following the long-established pattern of Bishops in the Diocese going to our prisons at Christmas, The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, will visit HM Prison Wandsworth on Christmas Day. Last year was not possible because of the pandemic.
In his Christmas message, which will be broadcast on HM Prison Wandsworth Radio and in other prisons across the Diocese, Bishop Christopher said, “Christmas is a very difficult time of year when we are not with our families and those we love, and I am very mindful in wishing you the joy and peace of Christmas that you will be separated from many you wish to be with.”
He continued, “There is a very long tradition in this Diocese of Bishops going into prisons on Christmas days, particularly because we know that people will be separated from their families and loved ones and just ourselves trying to be agents of hope in bringing the message of joy of Christmas and sharing that with you.”
Bishop Christopher will take a service at the Christmas crib and make pastoral visits to prisoners and staff, supported by the chaplaincy team. On Christmas Eve, he will preach and preside at Midnight Mass at Southwark Cathedral which starts at 8.30 pm and will be in-person and live-streamed. Find out more here.
Earlier this week, Bishop Christopher sent a Christmas Message to the Diocese in which he said,
In the birth of Jesus Christ, we are reminded of the fulfilment of God’s loving purposes for us, for all his people, for those who do not know their need of God and those without a full experience of human love – because God is love and the archbishops this year have asked us to go to the heart of Christmas, and that is, of course, what lies at the heart of Christmas and in this Diocese, we have an opportunity to share that message of love in the way we celebrate Christmas, in the way we think about others..
Written by: Sophia Jones