Bishop of Bath and Wells visits prisoners at Christmas

Image caption, The Bishop spent Christmas Day visiting inmates at Shepton Mallet prison

The Bishop of Bath and Wells has spent Christmas day visiting inmates at Shepton Mallet prison in Somerset.

The Right Reverend Peter Price was due to hold a service and meet some of the men, all of whom are serving life sentences at the Category C jail.

In his Christmas message he spoke about the importance of lighting a candle to bring peace and hope into the world.

He said a lit candle brought comfort from "everyday hurts, conflict and division that so easily touch us all".

'A sign'

He said the candle lighting at Christmas was a "beautiful tradition" which he had also carried out in the past.

"During the first Gulf War, we lit a candle every evening in the upstairs window of our house in London," the bishop said.

"It was a sign and a prayer.

"The prayer was that God would protect the life of one person that day."

He also described how Jesus was named in the Bible as the 'Prince of Peace' and lighting a candle was a reminder of this name.

"In today's world we need peace, not just from war and violence, but also from those everyday hurts, conflicts, and divisions that so easily touch us all.

"Sometimes we cannot find the words to say. Sometimes we need a sign.

"Why not light a candle this Christmas to light the way for the Christ child to bring peace to where there is no peace, in the world, in families, in relationships, maybe even in our own lives?"

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