Langley was delighted to welcome Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, to our Cheltenham project in the run-up to Easter.
The Venerable Rachel Treweek is the first female Bishop to be appointed to the House of Lords and was appointed as the Bishop of Gloucester in 2015.
She dropped in for tea, cakes and testimonies during Holy Week (the week running up to Easter).
She spoke to clients about their journey of change since being at Langley and how the charity had helped them to turn their backs on crime.
One client, Mike, spoke passionately about prison being like his “crucifixion” where he felt “alone and abandoned.”
To me, prison was my crucifixion. I was surrounded by others – thieves and the like. It was a dark place where I felt alone and abandoned… this is the rest of my life, I thought.
Then it all changed, Langley House Trust helped me push my tomb door open and I was reborn. I believed in myself and could see others started to believe in me too. I have since bettered myself; I’m volunteering and finally being a positive member of society.
That’s what Easter is about. It’s the rebirth, the coming from the dark into the light. Whether you are religious or not, it is a good time to reflect on your own life, and maybe some of the struggles that you have overcome.
Bishop Rachel’s visit was part of a series of engagements with local charities in Gloucestershire who support marginalised people, including refugees and female prisoners.
The day after her visit to Langley, Bishop Rachel attended Eastwood Park Prison where as part of an Easter service, she washed the women’s feet. This represented when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet before the Last Supper.
Speaking about her visits, Bishop Rachel said:
In Holy Week, Christians recall Jesus Christ’s death, the brokenness of the world and our part in it; and yet we celebrate God’s immense love and new life revealed in Christ’s resurrection. It will therefore be very poignant to spend time with these men and women in this special week in which the focus is one of hope and new possibility.