Listen: David Briddock speaks with 96five’s Justin Rouillon about reaching out to those on the inside.
In prison, a place populated by lost souls, each day feels like an eternity and each day is like the last.
Incarcerated in a correctional centre, Chris received support without judgement from a volunteer prison chaplain from Inside Out Prison Chaplaincy, which is operated by Carinity, an outreach of Queensland Baptists.
Chris says the prison chaplain, David Briddock, is a “beautiful, kind, compassionate gentleman and chaplain”.
“Not only has he helped me enormously on my journey here, through prayer and rich Bible knowledge, he has helped me connect comfortably with other inmates,” Chris explains.
There are 30 volunteer Inside Out prison chaplains working multidenominationally in support of men and women in correctional centres between Mareeba in Queensland’s Far North and the Gold Coast.
David told 96five that there were two specific skills that a prison chaplain needs be equipped with.
“You need to be able to love and listen. We’re dealing with broken men, and we’re there to be a presence with them – to love on them, to listen and to offer prayer for them.”
Listen Without Judgment
“The fact is that every one of us is broken to some degree. I firmly believe that we can love on them and accept them, and if they do open up, which some do, and share their history and backgrounds, sometimes that is quite heartbreaking really.”
And although some men inevitably get caught in the cycle of incarceration, there are many who have been impacted by a prison chaplain, who leave prison with a heart to repay their debt to the community.
“There are a number of men who are now training to be pastors and that is just wonderful. Over the years I’ve attended weddings of men who are now contributing to society and becoming great citizens and believers.”
Carinity chaplains support some of Queensland’s most vulnerable – people in prisons and hospitals, students requiring special assistance, and aged people in residential care.
The community can support Carinity chaplains to keep making a real difference to Queenslanders in need by donating to the Carinity Chaplains Appeal. Phone 3550 3737 or donate online at www.carinity.org.au/donations.