Since Autumn 2022, second-year ministry trainee, Jordan Jones, has had an opportunity to serve, alongside Rev Graham Stockdale, in Prison Chaplaincy at Maghaberry Prison. Jordan shares his experience below:
“Alongside ministry training in Union Theological College, I have had the privilege of being able to serve as part of the Chaplaincy team in Maghaberry Prison as part of my flexible pathway. This has involved spending a day a week entering the prison and providing pastoral care for those who are imprisoned and staff within Maghaberry Prison. I have also had the opportunity to take part in regular services, as we have looked at God’s word, sung songs together, and prayed with, and for one another. This has been great experience and enabled me to see a different side of ministry life within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland whilst also being privileged to partake, and learn from, an opportunity not everyone in ministry is able to share.
I have found my time in Maghaberry Prison to be an eye-opening and stretching experience as it has pushed me out of my comfort zone. However, it has been an incredibly encouraging because of the conversations I have been blessed to have and has become a formative part of my training.
From this experience, I am continuously learning about the hopeless situations that many face and how their struggles apply to not just those who are imprisoned but many people who sit in local Presbyterian congregations throughout Ireland.
However, as I have been able to hear stories, I am comforted by the knowledge that only Jesus can truly bring about change and transformation in our lives and of our utter dependency upon his grace, on a daily basis. I praise God for the work that He is doing within Maghaberry Prison and am thankful that this opportunity has opened up for me to partake, in a small way, in His work. Please continue to pray for Rev Graham Stockdale, in his fulltime role, serving as a Chaplain in Maghaberry.”