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The 2020 Liverpool Annual Prison Week Lecture

Updated: Aug 10, 2021


Together we locked down. 2020 was an extraordinary year and required a unique

Prison Week lecture. Organised by the Liverpool Diocesan Council for Social Aid

(LDCSA), Adelaide House, Female Approved Premises, The Diocese of Liverpool and

Liverpool Cathedral, the 2020 Annual Liverpool Prison Week Lecture proved to be not

only unique but also an uplifting virtual event in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over 70 people attended the Zoom lecture on 12 th October 2020. It featured the

premier of a radio play created in a collaboration between Adelaide House Female

Approved Premises and Liverpool’s No Place Productions (NPP).

In development during a brief lockdown-free window during August and September

2020, the fictional radio play was written and voiced by current residents of Adelaide

House. It provided creative expression for their experiences during the challenges of

the past year. To accompany the play, artist Jenny Leonard created a responsive live

sketch highlighting key moments in the story.

Set in a hospital, and featuring four very different women characters, the play

touched on themes of confinement, tolerance, empathy, community, loss and laughter

as it followed the women’s conversations through a few days on the ward.

Following the play an invited panel (including Ellen Loudon, Chair of LDCSA, Rachel

Worsley, Director of NPP and Mim Skinner, Author and co-founder of REfUSE and

speaker at the 2019 lecture spoke further about the making of the play and the role of

the arts within the Criminal Justice System (CJS).

Despite the virtual nature of the lecture, the play’s sense of community and coming

together was reflected in the conversations and positive feedback from the evening:

“I found it great that the story showed how even in uncertain times we turn to family-like

structure for comfort and reassurance and that we all need support in this way, and despite

the characters only knowing each other for a short while, empathy for each other quickly

developed and I found that really inspiring.”

“I loved the drama and really felt the need for that feeling of belonging that all the women needed and gave. Well done to you all.”

“The different backgrounds, traumas, experiences of the women that eventually brought

them all together in a strange environment to them, this could reflect how people may

become close and become a family almost in a custodial setting, or settings such as

Adelaide House.”

“I loved the drama. I liked the closing of this scene with their wanting to get her in contact with her son.”

“Sharing the stories, raising the voices of those who feel unheard, shifting the perspectives

of people affected by the CJS, encouraging empathy - the arts have an essential part to play

in learning about identity, reimagining our identities and understanding the worlds we live in.”

“I was really impressed by the skill and creativity of the illustrator.”

The Right Revd Beverley A Mason, Bishop of Warrington, who is the Episcopal Visitor for Adelaide House, closed the evening with a blessing:

“O Lord, may we be directed what to do, and what to leave undone, and then may we

humbly trust that a blessing will be with us. Enable us, O Lord, to feel tenderly and

charitably toward all. Help us to have no soreness toward any. Let us think no evil,

bear all things, hope all things, endure all things. Let us walk in all humility before all

we meet, and into your sight. Amen.”

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