Bishop for Prisons and Deputy Chaplain-General welcomed by Church of England and Church in Wales


The Bishop for Prisons and Deputy Chaplain General have been formally commissioned in a service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
A priest stands at the foot of a cross

The Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, was commissioned as Bishop for Prisons, with Revd Helen Dearnley licensed as Deputy Chaplain General of Prisons. The commissioning took place during a service of evening prayer conducted from Lambeth Palace crypt chapel.

The service, with participants tuning in via Zoom, heard prayers for Bishop Rachel and Revd Helen read by the Archbishops of Canterbury, York and Wales.

Revd Helen, who is Anglican Chaplaincy Adviser for HM Prison and Probation Service. said: “My role is to equip and support all Anglican Prison Chaplains, to pray for all those who work and live in prison, to support the Through the Gate provision for those released from custody and to be a link between the Church of England, Church in Wales and HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS).

The Archbishop of Canterbury is sat in Lambeth Palace crypt watching Zoom

“It is a real privilege and joy to have the Anglican Churches’ endorsement of the ministry I share with all Anglican Prison Chaplains across England and Wales.

Bishop Rachel has campaigned on criminal justice issues, including domestic violence, sentencing reform and the treatment of women in the justice system.  In recent years, she has worked with the her predecessor, Bishop James Langstaff, as Bishop for the women’s prison estate.

Bishop Rachel said: “I would like to pay tribute to Bishop James, not only for his advocacy and detailed knowledge of criminal justice policy but for his steadfast support and care for chaplains and charities working in the service. 

“Our prisons and chaplains encounter people at the most critical moment of their lives. Their work can transform lives – not just for individuals but for whole communities. It is an honour to be appointed as Bishop for Prisons.”