A YOUNG Offender Institution is holding a sponsored read of St
Mark's Gospel for Age UK.
A dozen inmates at Swinfen Hall, near Lichfield, which houses
young male offenders who have received long sentences, are carrying
out the sponsored read.
They have set up an online donation page, which explains: "We,
as a group of Christians in Swinfen Young Offenders, want to put
what we have learned in our Bible studies into practice. We want to
make a gift to those who struggle over the winter months this
The sponsored read was the idea of a new curate, the Revd Doug
Heming, who is spending one day a week as part of his training with
the chaplain at Swinfen Hall. "The only thing these prisoners
really have to give back at the moment is time; so they are doing
that to raise money to give to Age UK . . . We are reading four
chapters once a week, taking it in turns to read a verse each, and
stop and have a discussion.
"It may not sound a lot, but the reading and sitting still for
90 minutes is a challenge in itself to some of these young people.
By the end of Advent, they will have read the whole of a Gospel."
He said that the group included one offender who was baptised a
Mr Heming was ordained this summer, and serves the parishes of
Ashley and Mucklestone, near Market Drayton.
As of Tuesday night this week, the sponsored read had raised
£85. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/swinfen-hall-advent-read.