Project Manager: Paul Rushton
I’m a teacher/singer/songwriter who has a passion for reaching out to those in need. In some of the countries in which I’ve lived this has found its fulfilment in fundraising for and compassionate visits at orphanages, hospitals and institutions for the poor and aged. In other places I’ve been involved in anti-drugs programmes for educational institutions. Here in the UK I’ve been involved in various forms of prison ministry for the best part of thirteen years.
Seeds in the Earth
Seeds in the Earth is a Christian band I put together a few years ago for the express purpose of ministering in prisons (HMP’s) and other detention facilities such as young offender institutes (YOI’s) and immigration removal centres (IRC’s). The songs I write are written in contemporary styles and come from a place of Christian faith. They are thought provoking and inspirational as well as entertaining. We find the band and our music is well received and much appreciated by our audiences.
This past year or so I have been developing a programme that involves bringing music into prisons. I now offer vocal, guitar and song writing lessons for offenders in three different prisons.
The object of this project is to:
- Give offenders the chance to learn new skills/develop existing skills
- Build confidence
- Offer a creative outlet during a difficult time
Overview of 2017
2017 saw much growth in my prison ministry. Seeds in the Earth performed fifteen times in thirteen different establishments reaching roughly six hundred prisoners. I also performed solo on a number of occasions.
Creating Spaces really started to get going in the autumn of 2017. I now spend a full day every week at a women’s prison in the midlands where I run a two-hour vocals and performance session in the morning, two one-hour sessions for song writing and guitar in the afternoon followed by a one-hour get together for the prison’s foreign nationals. I run two song writing groups at a men’s prison in Buckinghamshire and have just started regular guitar classes at a high security establishment with plans to add song writing and performance workshops as well.