St Nicholas Cathedral will host a special Prisons Week exhibition
Of the many who find spiritual comfort within the Church next week will find prison inmates the focus of particular attention.
Prisons Week aims to rally Christians - both individually and as members of churches - to pray for anyone affected by imprisonment.
Now in its third decade it isn't restricted to prisoners, but also their families and their victims.
Prison staff are also not forgotten.
St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle is hosting a special exhibition reflecting on the work of HMP Acklington in Northumberland.
The Very Reverend Chris Dalliston, The Dean of Newcastle, says: "So far as Christian attitudes to crime are concerned we recognise, I hope, that none of us is guiltless.
"We all fall short of what we might be and most of us have at some time acted in ways that have injured others.
"So while obviously it's necessary for public safety that certain people are in prison and, while there need to be sanctions to deter criminal activity, it's important for Christians not to jump to judgement too easily, not least since we follow a Saviour who himself died the death of a criminal.
Acklington Prison, near Morpeth, has its own chapel
"He also identified with prisoners and taught his disciples not to abandon them: 'When I was in prison you visited me.'"
The Prison Chaplain, the Reverend Matthew Tetley, shared his experience of ministering at HMP Acklington on Sunday, 21 November, 2010.
Not just an advocate for the Christian faith, he's responsible for all religious provision, dealing with such practicalities as altering meal times for Muslims during Ramadan and making sure inmates have an opportunity for prayer.
He says: "Most religions require certain things and the prisons services spend a lot of time working out what is actually necessary in order to practise your faith."
Matthew's role also involves providing spiritual succour to staff.
After all, he admits, it can be a potentially grim job: "Obviously you're dealing with people who've strayed quite a long way from what would be classed as normal behaviour in society but, as a chaplaincy team, I think we encourage each other an awful lot."
HMP Acklington, a category C prison, is a former RAF base
Matthew's calling to ministry within the prison service began 25 years ago when he spent a six week training placement at the Victorian Pentonville Prison in London, not noted for being the most salubrious of institutions.
Still, something appealed and, after serving in four parishes, he returned to prison ministry at HMP Acklington and Frankland Prison in County Durham.
He says: "It is very different and I think it is a particular calling that you need to feel because I don't think everybody would feel comfortable operating within the prison regime."
It suits Matthew, who has only occasionally felt scared in prison and believes that, although such things cross the mind, it doesn't help to dwell too much on the dangers.
The nature of the flock also means the usual pastoral confidentiality can't be taken as read.
Matthew has to make it clear that secrets might be shared: "We would put it very clearly when we're speaking to any particular individual that if what they had to say affected their own safety or the safety of others we would then have to pass that on."
That said, the sharing works both ways. Matthew is there, too, as a conduit between inmates and Governor, and between both and the inmates' families.
St Nicholas Cathedral houses some remarkable stained glass
Road to Damascus
Religious conversions in prison are not unknown: the most well known being, perhaps, the former cabinet minister, Jonathan Aitken, and the murderer, Myra Hindley.
Dramatic reappraisals of a life badly lived are not ten a penny but Matthew believes faith can make a difference: "If we didn't believe that faith can, in the end, change lives we wouldn't actually get anywhere.
"And it's not any dramatic Damascus Road experience necessarily, it's more small steps forward that faith can actually challenge how they've been thinking and maybe give them a different way of behaving and operating."
It works, he says. Not overnight, and the person has to make the decision to change themselves, but it works.