It was the last service in prison this morning for Lionel, the retiring chaplain, so a number of volunteers, supporters and old friends were invited along for the event.
It began strangely when the various clergy in full regalia 'processed' down what passed for an aisle. A brief interlude of normality followed before one of the older prisoners, a regular and old friend, who sits in the front seat and usually has plenty to say for himself, fainted and slipped sideways off his chair. To be caught - magnificently I must say - by one of the other chaplains. Medical aid was summoned but he insisted he was fine to carry on sitting where he was and refused to leave and miss any of Lionel's final words.
Later he told me he'll be getting out soon and is getting married. I'm a little surprised by this news as I wouldn't have thought he was ever out of prison long enough to form a relationship. Let's hope she is good for him and can keep him sober.
Also turns out that the boys who took part in last year's Christmas service for me have all recently been given heavy sentences for heroin trafficking. And they're such nice boys.