19 Jul Day 19
Sunday 19th July 2015
Today was going to be a good day. I woke feeling thrilled that I was going to my first ever Church service in prison. I hadn’t realised how much I missed it and needed it in my life. Somewhere I could think and find serenity.
Walking into Church today, I was rather surprised that it looked no different to a Church on the outside. I kind of expected the altar to be in a cage or something. But the fact that I didn’t look any different kind of helped me to forget where I was for that very short hour. It was lovely.
It was a free church service which is something I am more used to from my church at home. I quite enjoy the freedom, expression and happiness that comes with this type of service, however next week it will be a Church of England service. A little stricter than I am used to but at least it will still be a break from this place.
During the service today there were some inmates who had to sit separate to us in the balcony area. I turned to the guy next to me and asked why and he replied saying ‘they’re all the nonces’. I felt a little uncomfortable by his comment. Obviously, they’re the people from the vulnerable wing, paedophiles and such. I am also wary that due to my parents profession I could have been a vulnerable person if inmates hadn’t taken to me so well. I am also conflicted, surely, they are just as forgiven as we are? No sin is greater than the other, right?
The service consisted of one organ player and some half-arsed singing by everyone. I’d put it down to nerves of not wanting to look silly in front of each other. I’d love it if the worship group from the Elim church back home came with all the instruments. Their worship would fill the entire prison and the ceremony would be fun for all.
I had the opportunity to speak with Claire again and expressed my interest in learning the piano; she has put me in touch with the other pastor who would be able to help me. This may mean access to the piano in the chapel where I would practice from grade 1 working to the point where I could play a song for worship, that would be awesome.
Unfortunately, the service did not end on a refining positive note. As we were leaving a prisoner took something from the prison officer’s jacket when he wasn’t looking. The Prison officer found out and whilst still in church shouted ‘YOU LITTLE BASTARD, YOU’RE A THIEF, YOU’RE A THIEF, YOU’RE A THIEF!’ It was awful to see, especially in a church. I guess it’s bound to happen when some people go to service just to get time off the wing and see their friends from other wings. So if they aren’t here to take it seriously then there is going to be some mischief.
I’m still looking forward to the service next week; Claire said she would like to get Mark, my pastor, in soon.
Monday 20th July 2015
Gosh, I am so alone. Mid-shower, I was told by one of the officers that I was being shipped out to Wealstun.
‘WHAT!?, but I’m on hold boss’ I protested.
I practically pleaded with the man.
He looked at my record…
End of part 1
Thank you so much for reading about my first few weeks inside prison. I continued writing my diary every evening, it ended up being over 450 pages long. You can read from the beginning here.
Before I release the rest of the diary, I am really looking for feedback on what you liked and what you did not like – if you could send any comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org it will be a huge help.
Whilst I have reached the end of my prison sentence, I feel like it is the start of my journey – I hope you enjoy the adventure.