Working in a variety of settings, including prisons, universities and hospitals, Quaker chaplains offer friendship and spiritual advice to people of all faiths and none.
They often minister to the most vulnerable in society, such as those without the support of friends and family. This vital form of ministry also helps to establish a visible presence for the life, work and witness of Quakers in a wide range of communities.
Quaker Life supports and seeks to strengthen Quaker chaplaincy by providing information, training, conferences, and opportunities for development and networking.
The historic Quaker concern for prisons continues today through the contribution of Quakers working within prison chaplaincy teams.
"I love the work. I hope to use the gold cards to explain what a Quaker is. I've had a few porridge comments so I've made a badge with the Quaker Oats man on it and the words - Quakers. More than a pile of porridge. It gets a laugh and starts a conversation" A current QPC
The Quaker Prison Chaplains Committee (QPCC) is active within the context of overall Quaker Life work in support of Quaker chaplaincy. The committee provides training, networking and support for QPCs.
Training and events
Training 'Going Inside' for prison chaplains
Provided by Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in partnership with the Quaker Prison Chaplains' Committee.
This course is open to all QPCs,
both recently-nominated and those with experience. It will cover practical issues about working in the prison environment, and how to build trust with staff and inmates within clear boundaries. It will also encourage you to reflect on the Quaker basis of your ministry within a multi-faith team and to deepen your understanding of the role. The course will be led by two experienced serving chaplains in three 'live' webinars, with time between for individual study to inform your practice.
The dates for the next Going Inside are as follows: Tuesday, 7 June 19.30 to 21.30; Saturday, 11 June 10.00 until 12.30 and Thursday, 16 June 19.30 to 21.30.
Booking details and information about Going Inside can be found on Woodbrooke's website.
Quaker Prison Chaplains Annual Conference
This is an annual opportunity for Quaker prison chaplains to meet, share and learn from each other. The conference is open to newly appointed chaplains as well as those who have been in the role for many years. Attendees can expect sharing, networking, workshops and worship. It is held annually at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre and usually takes place over a weekend.
The next conference is planned to take place on Friday, 7 to Sunday, 9 October 2022. Booking details will be advertised here when they are available.
Chaplaincy online course
This course is developed by Quaker Life and Woodbrooke and runs with experienced Quaker chaplains as tutors.
- The next Online Quaker chaplaincy course will be in 2022 and takes place over 6 weeks.
- Are you a Quaker chaplain in hospital, prison,
school or university or in any other work or community setting? Or considering
starting chaplaincy? This online course will be an opportunity for sharing,
supporting and developing your ministry. We will explore the connections
between different settings. Over the six weeks of this course, we will
encourage you to take a couple of hours a week to reflect on your work, share
your experiences, ideas and insights, and come away refreshed.
- We will share booking details here when they are available.
We hope that this will happen again in future - no dates yet.
This weekend retreat will provide the opportunity for Quaker chaplains working in any setting (prison, education, hospital or others) to reflect, relax and reconnect with our spiritual foundation. We will use a mix of creative listening, the labyrinth, journalling and a range of spiritual practices to provide opportunities to recharge our batteries and remind ourselves why we do this important work. This weekend is not a training event and may not be suitable for people with no chaplaincy experience.
The Welcome Directory
The Welcome Directory is a multi-faith organisation that maintains a directory of faith communities that have declared their commitment to welcoming prison leavers and providing them with support in the community should they need it. The directory is used by prison chaplains, probation officers, resettlement agencies and prison leavers themselves to identify welcoming faith communities.
Quaker Life encourages local meetings to sign up to the Welcome Directory. The decision and responsibility to join can be discerned at a local Meeting for Worship for Church Affairs. Please send copies of your minute to Augene Nanning, Prison Chaplain Support Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Ashbrook, whose painting you see in the banner and on the right, found faith and creativity during a life sentence in prison. On his release, he focused upon hope and renewal and was starting to share this message of love through his artwork when his life was tragically cut short in an accident in 2006.