UK Prisons Week: Friday

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To mark UK Prisons Week, our Director of Prison Ministry, Stephen James, will be sharing what a typical week looks like for him. 

My job involves lots of travel and evenings out, so I try and spend as much time with my family around these commitments. Fridays often give me some space to spend time with them and to plan ahead for our weekends together. 

I’m married to Lisa and have two daughters, Jessica, 12, and Isabel, 10.

Lisa is originally from Peterborough and I’m from Stoke on Trent. Lisa works as a teaching assistant part time as well as looking after our girls. We have no immediate family here in Swansea.

Jessica is in her third year in comp and Isabel has just finished primary school. The girls are completely different in character - Isabel loves girly things and Jessica is a rough and ready type.

Parenting is both challenging and rewarding. You have to constantly model a Christ-centred life (not always easy!) and correct bad behaviour in your children without losing your temper. But they help in the sanctification process in my life! It’s so rewarding to keep bringing Jesus into their lives and to see them grow and develop in their understanding of the gospel.

Although it can be difficult to manage family life alongside work, I have a very capable wife who manages our children and home really well - especially when I’m away travelling overseas. The girls are always excited to see me after being away for an extended time. 

I set my working day around our girls as much possible and give them most of my free time. 

We love to explore new places in and around Swansea. This means lots of family walks to the beaches, like the famous Gower, and to the surrounding countryside (the beautiful Brecon Beacons). To help us in this endeavour we have just acquired a new addition to our family, a puppy called Bella, a cross between a Springer and Cocker Spaniel. We’re also well acquainted with all the parks in Swansea as our girls love to visit them regularly.

This is the last in our series in Prisons Week (though our #SaturdayStory tomorrow continues the theme). You can catch up on the other days here: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 

Read more about our prison ministry

John Phillips, BeaconLight (Guest) 20/10/2019 16:47
Great to have this insight into your prison ministry with CEM, Stephen. Your partnership with PFI is especially exciting.
I am also delighted to know that CEM resources/courses are used so widely in prisons in the UK.

It is good that you really value your time with your wife and daughters - how crucial that is - for you all.
Every blessing.

(Guest) 22/10/2019 12:56
Thanks for the encouragement John. We are blessed with the opportunities to come alongside prisoners with our resources. You have done a great work providing your resources to prisons, they are simple accessible and life changing. Keep up the good work, Stephen.
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