40 Stories of Hope – Lent book tells of hope found in prisons

James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester and Bob Wilson

 March 2018

More than 14,000 copies of a new Lent book have already been ordered by Prison Chaplains to give away to inmates this year.

‘40 Stories of Hope’ brings together the stories of 40 prisoners, ex-prisoners and chaplains. It has been published by HOPE in partnership with CWR, for churches and prisons to use. Each faith-inspiring story is accompanied by verses from the Bible, prayers and a thought for the day. They can be read at any time by individuals or groups, inside and outside prison. Weekly discussion notes to inspire personal reflection and facilitate group discussion are also included, making the book ideal for reading during Lent.

 

In the foreword, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, says, ‘These 40 stories are a vital reminder of the hope that Jesus gives. They show us how lives can be transformed, and forgiveness can be found in the most unlikely places. There is no one, no life, no story that is beyond God’s power to love and transform into renewal.’

Rev Helen Dearnley, Chaplaincy HQ Advisor to Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, says: ‘Each day I go into different prisons across our country and each day I see the hope and light of the gospel reaching into the lives of women and men, staff and prisoners. The stories in this book are written so that wherever you read them, whoever you read them with, you also have the opportunity to glimpse the life-giving hope that Jesus Christ brings.’

The book was chosen as the Lent book by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. Endorsing the book for use by churches, Bob Fyffe, General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, says: ‘We are delighted to recommend “40 Stories of Hope” as the CTBI Lent Course for 2018. The stories give a unique insight into prison life and point to the hope we can find as followers of Jesus. The group studies provide the whole Church, inside and outside prison, with the opportunity to walk with Jesus through Lent, learning from Mark’s Gospel and from the lessons prisoners, ex-prisoners and chaplains have learned.  Whether we take this spiritual journey through Lent, alone or in company, there is much to draw on to refresh and encourage our faith.’

The Lent studies for groups can be downloaded in English and Welsh from www.ctbi.org.uk/lent

 

Through HOPE and the generosity of CWR supporters, 15,000 copies of the book have been made available free to prisoners and young offenders through the chaplaincy departments as part of Prison Hope.

 

Churches or individuals can buy single copies of ‘40 Stories of Hope’ from their local bookshop or from CWR at £7.99, and for each single book purchased HOPE and CWR commit to match-fund a copy to send into prisons/YOI’s in addition to 15,000 copies which have already been donated. There is also a bulk purchase offer for churches, individuals and small groups, whereby a box of 20 books can be purchased for £40. This can be used by the church or donated to a prison.

40 Stories of Hope is a collection of 40 remarkable testimonies from prisoners, ex-prisoners and prison chaplains who speak powerfully about life-changing encounters with Jesus.

Each faith-inspiring story is accompanied by verses from the Bible, prayers and a thought for the day. They can be read at any time by individuals or groups, inside and outside prison. Weekly discussion notes to inspire personal reflection and facilitate group discussion are also included, making the book ideal for reading during Lent – the weeks before Easter. The book has been chosen as the Lent book by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

Through HOPE and the generosity of CWR supporters, we are able to make available 15,000 copies of this book FREE to prisoners/YOI’s through the chaplaincy departments. Further free copies of the book will become available as churches or individuals can buy single copies from their bookshop or from CWR at £7.99, and for each single book purchased HOPE and CWR commits to match fund a copy to send into prisons/YOI’s on top of the 15,000 copies. There is also a bulk purchase offer for churches, individuals and small groups, whereby a box of 20 books can be purchased for £40. This can be used by the church or donated to a prison.

Chaplains: to order free copies for your prison contact Carol Monk, CWR, Waverley Abbey House, Waverley Lane, Farnham, Surrey GU9 8EP; email: prisonministry@cwr.org.uk or phone 01252 784709.

Churches and individuals: order copies on line at cwr.org.uk/40stories or through your local Christian bookshop.