Archbishop shares stories with inmates

A prisoner shows Archbishop Herft some of his artwork.
A prisoner shows Archbishop Herft some of his artwork.

The visit was part of the Acacia Chaplaincy Department’s program, which offers prisoners alternative opportunities for thinking, acting and healing.

The chaplaincy’s long running Faith and Beyond Program offers opportunities for staff and prisoners to learn about different faiths and beliefs, cultures and customs by meeting diverse people and groups.

Archbishop Herft initially met with prisoners in the prison’s All Faiths’ Centre, along with Acacia’s Coordinating Chaplain Susan Blackburn and Reverend Alan Forsyth, where they shared their stories, asked questions and sought spiritual guidance.

The Archbishop listened to prisoners’ stories and shared some of his history, including insights from his early ministry as a chaplain in Sri Lanka with prisoners sentenced to death.

Archbishop Herft shared his belief that it is possible for anyone to turn their life around in a positive way.

Acacia Prison’s director Paul McMullan recognised the importance of such visitors to the prison.

‘I’m very grateful the Archbishop gave his time to visit prisoners and staff at Acacia,’ Mr McMullan said.

‘The positive contribution the Chaplaincy Department makes to the lives of prisoners and staff deserves to be acknowledged. (It) effectively engages prisoners and staff in their activities, regardless of religious or cultural beliefs and backgrounds.’