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On the road to Eastwood Park

Do you ever have one of those light bulb moments when everything becomes clear? Children often make a sudden breakthrough when they are learning to read. Students struggling with a maths concept can suddenly understand how everything falls into place and hangs together.

Sometimes however it takes much painstaking explanation. I remember my dad (a teacher) always taking me back and back to the very basics when all I wanted was to know how to do it – sometimes I didn’t care about understanding!!!

Sometimes concepts are really difficult to catch hold of. They seem to flit in and out of my mind and I feel I can almost grasp them, but then before I can really catch hold of them they are gone. I often feel like this when I am listening to a homily – something inspires a thought within me and I want to think about this but then the homily continues and it’s really hard to go back to that thought afterwards.

The story in the gospel today reminds me about my dad and those maths problems. Jesus really had to go back to basics with them, but what joy when they finally got it!!! How life changing it must have been.

Our work here in Eastwood Park is also similar. There are so many opportunities to talk about faith matters with both staff and prisoners. In most work environments this could not happen but here it is accepted and welcomed by the most unlikely people. Just as Jesus did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus we respond to the questions and conversations around us, we don’t go out to try to convert people – that is not allowed. But there is an openness and willingness to learn which sometimes takes your breath away.

Please pray that we can speak with eloquence, and bring the joy of salvation wherever Christ leads us.


Nicola McCarthy
Chaplain HMP Eastwood Park

















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