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Keeping the Faith

Keeping the Faith
Published by Giles Goddard on Sat, 27 Mar 2021 19:00

During lockdown, photographer Louise Haywood-Schiefer has created a series of portraits of clergy at work in the pandemic including Giles, the vicar of St John's. 

It's called 'Keeping the Faith - London Chaplains in the time of COVID.' Alongside the portraits are reflections from the clergy pictured.

There's a wide range of experience - from the Speaker of the House of Commons to a Military Chaplain, via Student and Hospital Chaplains to the Chaplain of Brixton Prison, Bola Adamolekun. Here is what Bola said: 

How do you provide comfort and solace to guys who are stuck behind doors for a ridiculous amount of time?

I’ve found that if you make the time, the people you speak to are more open now and there’s more opportunity for that conversation to get deeper and be more meaningful.

It’s been less about just wanting an excuse to get out of the cell, it’s almost like they’ve treated it as a gift and they’ve decided that if I can engage with them, they will engage with me too.

You can come across some truly broken and desperate cases, it’s really heartbreaking sometimes. There are a lot of people in prison for criminal reasons and there are a lot of people in prison because society has been criminal to them.

The portraits and reflections can be seen here, on the website of St Columba's Church.   

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