The Church is made up of Christians from a myriad of different professions, and yet their ordinary tales of God at work rarely get told. In this series, we bring you stories of faith on the frontline


My name is Loren Stanbridge, and I’m a senior probation officer at His Majesty’s Prison Aylesbury. I became a trainee probation officer in 2006, which was a community-based job. I qualified in 2008 and worked for many years in the community before working in court, and then, just two years ago, moving to work in prison.

I always knew that I wanted to work with people. The probation role wasn’t something I had thought about until I saw the advert. I wanted to support people to make the right choices in life and live in more fulfilling and productive ways.

I manage a team of probation officers in the prison. We support prisoners through their time in prison and ultimately towards rehabilitation. We set goals for them to complete and provide support and advice. We also help manage the risk that prisoners pose, both in the prison and to the public on release.

The role is uniquely challenging and rewarding. Anyone working in prison needs to take security seriously. You can’t afford to forget your keys or leave any gates open. Prisoners can be challenging in their behaviours, and this can be very intimidating. There are times when you need to make unpopular decisions.

Integrity is very important in this role, not just among staff but also prisoners. It’s important that you can be trusted to do what you say you will do. It’s easy to be judgmental, but I seek to show mercy and be compassionate. I pray Psalm 23 before I interact with prisoners. I am a civil servant and part of a bigger organisation, but I have unique opportunities with prisoners. I seek to model the gospel through the way I live.

If it hadn’t been for my Christian faith, I would have left many years ago. It keeps me grounded. The Christian has an understanding of the human condition and sin. If you realise that sin affects everyone, not just prisoners, this changes the way you engage with people.

In a culture that can be overly focused on risk, it’s important to focus on the individual. I see great examples of kindness, selflessness and compassion among prisoners and staff. I’ve seen prisoners reading from the Bible in services, and that can be very moving.

Please pray that I will have resilience and integrity in the work that I do and with everyone I work with.

Loren was speaking to Paul Woolley