Boys at Wetherby Young Offenders Institution will receive Easter cards and eggs this year thanks to young people at St Mark’s Church in Harrogate.
Youngsters who are members of the ‘Extreme’ group at St Mark’s have written individual Easter cards to each of the young men being held at HMYOI Wetherby, while the church is also sending them mini-Easter eggs and Easter comics.
The gifts are part of the ‘tithe’, ten per cent of its income, given by the church to a variety of good causes and missions. As well as sending eggs to HMYOI Wetherby, eggs will also be going to churches in Catterick and inner-city Leeds.
On Palm Sunday, the Revd Andrew Georgiou, the Free Church Chaplain to Wetherby YOI came to the St Mark’s family service to receive 275 Easter Bible Comics, 275 cartons of Cadbury's mini eggs and gifts for the prison staff.
“The boys love getting their mini-eggs and the magazine but the number of boys who’ve actually come back afterwards and said thank you for the card is really important,” Andrew told the congregation.
“They are really, really pleased to get the Easter cards that the boys and girls have made here, and they are more important than the eggs – although they like the eggs as well!”
Pictured at the service are Vicar, the Revd Canon Guy Donegon-Cross, along with Flossie and Chloe, part of the ‘Extreme’ young people’s group, chaplain Andrew, and Terry Wilcox of the charity In2Out which helps boys who are released reintegrate into society.
“We have made Easter cards for the Wetherby young offenders,” said Flossie, “to give them hope and show love while they are there.”
Vicar, Guy, told the congregation “We hope that the gifts are a blessing to those lads and we’ve also done that for four parishes in the Dales. It’s not that we’re doing it to be magnanimous – it’s simply that we’ve been given stuff by God and we need to give it away to those who are the most vulnerable and in need of knowing His grace.”
Pictured below is the Vicar of Catterick, Revd Lindsay Southern receiving eggs from congregation member Anne Carter (left) a member of the Diocese of Leeds Children Youth and Families team.