Exhibition of prisoner artwork comes to Newton

An exhibition of prisoner artwork is on public display at St Mary's Church on Talbot Road until 8 November.

Entitled Journey into Light, the exhibition aims to demonstrate to people that behind every prisoner's conviction and sentence is a personal story of love, hope and loss. 

The exhibition is made up of more than 40 individual pieces of art, produced by prisoners from HMP Styal and HMP Thorn Cross, Cheshire. 

The Rev Sheila O'Flaherty, Priest-in-Charge at St Mary's Church, said: “Prisoners are often viewed as 'the other' yet they live in our midst, will return to be a part of our communities and contribute to our societies. 

"The Bible has much to say about the plight of prisoners and the Christian faith recognises that every person is made in the image of God and is valued despite our individual mistakes and regrets. The exhibition allows us the opportunity to understand the the lived experiences of prisoners, and to see them in a new light.” 

Debbie Dalby, Director of Social Responsibility at the Diocese of Chester, said: "We want people to view the exhibition and leave with a greater sense of empathy and awareness of prisoner experience. There is life beyond prison and we want to celebrate renewal and restoration and the hope of a brighter, more optimistic future." 

The launch of the exhibition at Chester Cathedral last October has attracted thousands of visitors, and thousands more have seen it as it has travelled through 30 parishes in the Diocese of Chester over the past year. 

This is the exhibition's only visit to Tameside, and one of the last opportunities to see it before the tour comes to an end in December. 

The exhibition will be available for public opening on Wednesday and Friday between 1pm and 4pm, and on Saturday from 9:30am to 4pm. 

The session will also be available in pre-booked groups from today (Tuesday) until Friday (excluding Wednesday) from 9:30am to 12:30pm. 

No booking is required for the Public Sessions, bookings for the Morning Sessions can be done by emailing vicar@stmarysnewton.org.uk.

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