About Prisoners’ Sunday

Prisoners’ Sunday is the national day of prayer and action for prisoners and their dependants as marked by the Catholic Church and across the Christian denominations. It is a day to direct our thoughts and prayers to prisoners, their families and children. Prisoners’ Sunday is the time to reflect on how we as individuals, as a Church and as a community are serving those affected by imprisonment. On this webpage you will find a number of resources which can be used to raise awareness and facilitate discussion of these issues in your local community.

Prisoners’ families, prisoners and people with previous convictions often find themselves on the margins of society due to the social stigma associated with imprisonment. They are often forgotten or come lower down on the list of causes to ‘hold a hand out to’. But the gospel reminds us of our duties towards them, ‘I was naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me; (Matthew 25:36). Pact’s work embodies the Christian value of mercy and belief in the innate dignity of every human being. Through this campaign we ask you to engage with a core element of Catholic social teaching and put our faith into action.

This year’s theme ‘We press on—Together, In Hope’ recognises the vital role we all need to play in the coming together as a community, in compassion and without judgement, to offer hope and a fresh start to all those affected by imprisonment.

We hope that you will join us in marking this day and thank you for your ongoing support.

History of Prisoners’ Sunday

Prisoners’ Sunday marks the first day of the ecumenical Prisons Week, a week of prayer which has been raising awareness of issues faced by those affected by the criminal justice system. Found by Bishop Victor Guazzelli in 1975, for over forty years Prisons Week has prepared prayer literature to enable the Christian community to pray for the needs of all those affected by prisons: prisoners and their families, victims of crime and their communities, those working in the 

In the criminal justice system and the many people who are involved in caring for those affected by crime on the inside and outside of prisons. For more information on Prisons Week click here.

A Prayer for Prisoners

Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist. Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care.

Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others, especially the victims of crime. Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in His strength and in His spirit. Now and every day.


Other pages

How you can mark the day



Donate to Prisoners' Sunday Appeal