Fighting for Women’s Justice

We believe the women’s justice system needs to change. Bishop Rachel has been campaigning to change the systems and sentencing for the most vulnerable women in our communities.

We campaign to raise awareness of the incredible work that takes place through Women’s Centres across this country and especially through the Nelson Trust; a women’s centre based in Gloucester. Here they provide a “one-stop-shop” approach to the wide range of problems faced by women in the Criminal Justice System. The Diocese of Gloucester is proud to have partnered with the Nelson Trust to provide safe, secure housing for women released from prison.

We know that it costs approximately £47k per year to keep a woman in prison, but women’s centres can work effectively with approximately £4k per woman each year. Properly resourced women’s centres can provide an opportunity for women to receive a holistic trauma-informed approach of rehabilitation.

While campaigning for change to the women’s justice system for the last six years, in 2020 Bishop Rachel was invited to become the Anglican Bishop for HM Prisons in England and Wales. In this role, Bishop Rachel is tasked with supporting the network of 300 Anglican Prison Chaplains who share in the front-line care of prisoners, as well as developing relationships and being involved with people and issues across the breadth of the Criminal Justice System. This includes probation and community services, as well as many different charities and organisations. In all of this, Bishop Rachel seeks to use her role as a Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords, not least working for a change to systems and sentencing for the most vulnerable people in our communities, whilst not losing sight of appropriate justice for victims of crime.

To help raise awareness of these issues we run events in the House of Lords or House of Commons to keep momentum behind our message. You can view videos of our events and people sharing powerful stories of their own personal experiences of the justice system below.

House of Lords: diversion from prison to Women’s Centres, event:

Read more about this event →

Photos from the above event:

A laughing David Lammy MP in conversation with Bishop Rachel

The Welcome Directory

Being a place of welcome and support for people released from prison: As Anglican Bishop for Prisons and a patron of The Welcome Directory I want to commend this Directory to you. The Directory lists faith communities who are willing to be a place of welcome and support for people leaving prison. I do hope that some of our worshipping communities in this diocese might consider registering. – Bishop Rachel
www.welcomedirectory.org.uk/index-wip.php

Working in partnership:

The Nelson Trust
Diocese of Newcastle
Women in Prison
Anawim
Prison Reform Trust
Eastwood Park Prison
Gloucestershire Constabulary
Changing Lives

Rachel’s story

At an event to highlight the importance of finding suitable accommodation for women released from prison, Rachel from Gloucester shared her extraordinary story:

The ongoing fight for justice: speeches and events

Read more about this event →

Photos from this event:

Bishop Rachel of Gloucester, Bishop Christine of Newcastle

Bishop Rachel speaks to the House of Lords on the Domestic Abuse Bill, Jan 2021:

Bishop Rachel speaks in the House of Lords, Oct 2019:

Women in prison: Lorna’s story

Bishop Rachel speaks in the House of Lords, Jan 2019:

Women in prison: Lisa’s story

Justice event synopsis, House of Lords, Oct 2018:

Full event speeches from the above:

Bishop Rachel speak in the House of Lords on sentencing, Sep 2018:

See also:

Working for gender equality. House of Lords, 2017

For more information contact:
Lucy Taylor, Director of Communications and Engagement, Diocese of Gloucester, 01452 835515, 07811 174125,