As you may be aware, a couple of years ago the charity Sixty-One was created with the objective of enabling the church, and Christians, to be able to support offenders as they try to live lives free from crime. The project is developing really well, with 14 churches supporting this year’s Prison Christmas Gift Project, a number of churches nominating Sixty-One Champions and our MentorMe project providing mentoring training for nearly 20 churches across the city.

I’m writing to you to invite you to a special event we will be holding in February 2017. Going under the title A Rehabilitation Marketplace this event will have ‘stalls’ run by  12 charities who work with prisoners, and hopefully from Bristol’s local prisons (HMP Bristol, Leyhill, Ashfield and Eastwood Park). These organisations will make up the Marketplace. The Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police, Andy Marsh, will be attending and speaking about the role of community in reducing crime and reoffending. Of course this is an area in which the church can play a significant role.

We also hope Marvin Rees will be there, both in his capacity as Mayor of Bristol, and a Trustee of Sixty-One.

As you can see, this is an important event, and we therefore hope for really good representation from churches across the city and surrounding areas. The aim is to provide an opportunity to find out what rehabilitative work is happening in the greater Bristol area, and how the church community can engage more effectively. For example, all exhibitors have been asked to have information about volunteering opportunities.

We would be delighted if you’re able to attend, or identify someone from your congregation to be there (we are happy for 2 or 3 people to attend from each church). The event will be held at St Agnes Church, Thomas Street, St Pauls, Bristol, BS2 9LL on Tuesday 7th Feb, 6.00 – 7:30pm. Please make it if you can – I would ask you to get back to ASAP to confirm either way.