Hope breaks through prison bars this Christmas

    Diocesan News
    23 Dec. 2020

    A Christmas Day carol service, made by HMP Winchester and local churches, is to be broadcast into almost every cell of each of 50 prisons nationwide.

    The service, featuring Sir Cliff Richard and Shane Taylor, will be available on the prison tv channel at 10am, 4pm and 10pm on Christmas Day.

    Reverend Cliff McClelland, Church of England Chaplain, said: “We feel so privileged to be able to bring light and hope on what is usually one of the toughest days of the year for inmates. We continue to push against the effects of Covid and the extended isolation that comes with it to enable Christians to worship God in this place. We look forward to a safe song being heard across the wings on the day."

    Christ Church Winchester has compiled the service, which includes classic carols from St Martins in the Fields and modern carols from Cornerstone Worship - as well as other special guests.

    Reverend Craig Philbrick, Curate at Christ Church, said "Prisons are often overlooked in the community. This service is a wonderful example of local Christians supporting the prisoners and staff of HMP Winchester, we are thankful and delighted for this act of worship which focusses on the spiritual meaning, and message of hope that Christmas brings."

    The service is available at:

    For more information please contact:

    Revd Cliff McClelland (Prison Chaplain HM Prison Winchester) 01962 723029 /

    Revd Craig Philbrick (Curate at Christ Church and service producer) 07539 408004 /