WELCOME TO IPCA
The International Prison Chaplains Association welcomes you to its Worldwide website. We exist to provide support and encouragement to prison chaplains everywhere, and to engage in advocacy on prison-related issues.
We invite you to visit the various pages and if you are a prison chaplain, to join us – membership is free. There are a number of ways you can connect with your colleagues in prison ministry around the world. You can also visit the websites run in our various regions worldwide.
As prison Chaplains around the world we share in this ministry together. If you have any suggestions for improving this website we welcome your ideas. Feel free to contact our President David Buick.
IPCA World Day of Prayer 2021
Every year on August 25, IPCA invites chaplains and those with an interest in prison ministry to join together in a special day of prayer for prisons. You can download our simple prayer guide in English or Spanish or French
Preparation of this year’s day of prayer has been made especially difficult by the pandemic and the resulting pressures on chaplains everywhere. At the same time, that is all the more reason for us to pray for each other, for our ministries, and for the prisons in which we serve. The health crisis and related restrictions also mean that chaplains are even more isolated than usual.
In view of this, we’ve decided to give you an opportunity to join together online for a short prayer service on Zoom following the prayer outline published here. This will be on Wednesday, August 25 at 16.30 UTC (17.30 BST, 18.30 CEST; please check https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html for your local time.
Not many may be able to join in view of world time differences and the short notice, but we’ll be going a head no matter how many or how few of us there are. If you wish to attend, please register at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ipca-worldwide-day-of-prayer-meeting-tickets-167699043353. We’ll send you a link to the Zoom meeting shortly before the event.
IPCA’s virtual symposium ‘keeps hope alive’
INTERNATIONAL PRISON CHAPLAINS ASSOCIATION
Organisation in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council since 2014
IPCA’s virtual symposium ‘keeps hope alive’
14 November 2020
On 11 November 2020, IPCA held the closing event in its ‘Keep Hope Alive’ virtual symposium: a worldwide webinar that brought together prison chaplains from Nepal to Costa Rica via Australia and Norway. Chaired from Manila by IPCA Asia representative Gerry Bernabe, the meeting marked the conclusion of a series of virtual gatherings in each of IPCA Worldwide’s six regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean, North America, and Oceania).
Over 120 attendees followed the closing webinar, which is now available on YouTube. In addition to IPCA’s core community of Christian chaplains from different denominations, the symposium also welcomed chaplains of other faiths, including Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist colleagues.
Keep Hope Alive was an opportunity for chaplains to share their stories of dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on prisoners and on their own ministries. In the face of today’s extreme difficulties, participants were encouraged by the realisation that they were not alone. As one Scottish chaplain attending summed it up: “It was wonderful to be reminded that prison chaplaincy all around the world is essentially the same. We are one big family!”
In addition to grassroots feedback about prisons in the Covid-19 era, the symposium also highlighted IPCA’s role in global advocacy. IPCA’s new declaration on prisoners’ rights to spiritual care amid the health crisis was presented in each regional meeting before being formally adopted in the closing webinar. IPCA’s vice-president Jean-Didier Mboyo (DRC), who heads up the organisation’s UN Team, explained that as a recognised NGO, IPCA will now submit the document to the UN for official publication – and emphasised that individual chaplains can start using it right away: “each chaplain in their country’s prisons is the bearer of the declaration. You are the ones who can take it to your prisons, to your governments”.
The symposium also looked beyond the pandemic to consider wider concerns for prison chaplains: access to research, dealing with high reincarceration rates among indigenous peoples, and coping with violent extremism were just some of the topics raised during the various meetings.
“It’s great to have been able to reconnect with the prison chaplaincy community across the world despite travel restrictions”, said IPCA Worldwide President David Buick. “We now intend to build on that momentum to develop the IPCA community and provide the organisational resources needed for us to continue to keep hope alive.”