A prison chaplain

My name is Jacqueline; I am a Methodist local preacher and the ‘Free Church’ chaplain at HMP Shepton Mallet. This prison is the oldest in Britain dating from 1610 and remodelled in 1818. The prison is small, holding 189 male prisoners, all of them ‘lifers’.

So what do I do? Well it’s less a matter of ‘doing’ and more a matter of ‘being’.

Just being there to share in the ups and downs of life.

Being there to share in the joy of a new grandchild, or a daughter’s engagement.

Being there in the sadness when a close friend or family member dies.

Being there to listen when the frustration of being in prison gets too much.

Being there to reassure at the end of life.

Behind the high walls, my life is full of laughter and tears, joy and sadness; but there is nowhere I would rather be working.

Jacqueline Cobb
Prison chaplain