NRCDES Mission Statement
A number of people attended the welcoming but socially-distanced event, including Fr Martin Sylvester. There were local representatives from other Christian traditions too.
Theresa showed the group three short films made by Pact. In one piece, Lewis, a former prisoner, performs his own powerful spoken word poetry.In another, two former prisoners speak movingly to each other about their experiences, how faith helped them to make a fresh start and how Pact staff and volunteers treated them: ‘They didn’t judge me. They spoke to me like a human being’.
Pact Services Manager, Lesley Ward, also attended the event and explained the life-changing work she leads covering a number of prisons and community hubs in the diocese and further afield. Lesley shared important insights into the challenges of the prison environment, particularly during the pandemic. She was able to give more information about some of the learning opportunities Pact provides, such as the parenting skills training, shown in another Pact short film. Pact works to strengthen family relationships where appropriate as this gives hope and the real potential of living a better life together in the future. Those leaving prison with strong family bonds are 39% less likely to return to crime.
The discussion led to several useful action ideas. While sharing the distressing ‘hidden sentence’ a family can live through alongside their loved one in prison, Theresa highlighted the National Prisoners’ Families Helpline which Pact provides. Fr Sylvester suggested that a poster giving details of the Freephone Helpline number ought to be in every church porch. Theresa agreed to take this forward.
Pact welcomes support from parishes and individuals. To keep in touch, if you have not already signed up to our magazine, Fresh Start, you can do so here: Sign up to Fresh Start | Prison Advice and Care Trust
There are opportunities to work as a volunteer supporting a number of Pact's services in the diocese. Pact has an established training and support programme for volunteers.
Parishes in the diocese may like to think about becoming ‘partners’ to prisons in the region where Pact has a presence. This has worked well in other areas recently. For example, parishioners have worked together to provide gift cards which prisoners can give to their children, sharing a little love and joy and strengthening family bonds this Christmas - as part of Pact's Operation Elf.
You are built upon the foundations of the apostles and prophets,
and Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone.
(Ephesians 2: 20)
To work on behalf of our Bishop to support and challenge all Catholic schools within the Diocese of Nottingham, by enabling them to nurture a Gospel-driven educational environment for all children, staff, governors and directors where each person will be helped to encounter God’s personal love for them, discover and grow in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ as his disciples (discipleship) and be open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in their lives so that they reach out to others with God’s love (missionary discipleship).
Our Aims are:
- the future of Catholic education in our diocese by working to support staff and governors / directors in a constantly changing educational environment;
- the Catholic faith, enabling all children to grow up in the light of the Gospel, learning how to love and giving them opportunities to experience the love of Jesus Christ in their lives;
- the strong relationships that exist between the NRCDES, the NDCYS, parishes and schools within the Diocese of Nottingham.
- high quality Catholic Life, Religious Education, Collective Worship and Chaplaincy in our schools through a highly effective advisory and support service;
- the quality and standard of Catholic education through a rigorous and challenging Diocesan Canonical Inspection framework;
- the highest standard of training and professional development for all staff, governors / directors and ongoing formation of leaders in our schools.
- the quality of Catholic education in collaboration with the Catholic Multi-Academy Trusts through the strategic monitoring of educational standards and responding to needs relating to school improvement;
- a culture in which there exists a shared understanding of excellence within Catholic education and that this serves as an inspiration for all;
- high quality leadership at all levels within our schools through promoting and supporting the development and dissemination of excellent practice and thereby ensuring the continued formation and provision of future leaders of Catholic education.