Prison chaplains celebrate 50 years on inside

Published 12:00pm 21 November 2023

Prison chaplains celebrate 50 years on inside
Words by Moreton Daily

It takes a special sort of person to enter a prison – by choice – to support convicted criminals.

Sue Collier has been doing it for six years.

The Moreton Bay resident is a volunteer prison chaplain with Inside Out Prison Chaplaincy, which is celebrating 50 years supporting people in Queensland correctional centres.

Inside Out Prison Chaplaincy, operated by Brisbane-based not-for-profit Carinity, recently held its 50th anniversary celebration with the gathering attended by guests from as far away as Cairns.

The event included presentations from past and current chaplains and Inside Out Prison Chaplaincy co-ordinators, as well as former prisoners whose lives have been transformed thanks to prison chaplains.

Link to the outside world

Sue says prison chaplains help incarcerated people to realise that “they are not forgotten”.

“Some inmates have no family, friends or anyone else to visit them during the months and years of imprisonment. Prison chaplains can often be the only link between the inside and the outside world,” Sue explains.

“We are there to show the love and forgiveness of God, through pastoral care.

“Visiting chaplains often strengthen the faith of the Christians inside … and may lead others to find a meaningful relationship with God for themselves.”

Inside Out Prison Chaplaincy has about 30 volunteer chaplains providing pastoral care to men and women in 14 correctional centres across Queensland.

Love of music

Sue has worked in men’s and women’s prisons in three locations around south-east Queensland and enjoys using her love of music to sing at church services inside correctional centres.

“I look forward to visits and listening to the inmates telling their stories.

“It is a privilege to be able to pray with people of faith and also – when asked – to pray for those who are searching for meaning in their lives.”

You can support Inside Out Prison Chaplaincy to place more chaplains into Queensland prisons by donating online.

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