The Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland jointly announced today the appointment of their respective Prison Chaplaincy Contract Co-ordinators, the Rev Stuart Fulton and Fr Brian Gowans.
The Scottish Prison Service has been responsible for employing prison chaplains, but that responsibility is being passed over to the churches later this year. In preparation for this, the Joint Working Party on Prison Chaplaincy in Scotland recommended the creation of these two posts.
Fr Gowans, who was ordained in 1985 and has been a Religious Adviser to the Scottish Prison Service since 1998, will be based at Polmont Young Offenders Institution with responsibility for the Catholic prison chaplains.
The Rev Stuart Fulton, who has been a Church of Scotland minister for eleven years, the first seven of these spent as minister at Haggs in Falkirk Presbytery, took over as Special Adviser on Chaplaincy to HM Prison Services in June 1998. Based at the Scottish Prison Services Headquarters, he was also a part-time chaplain at Edinburgh's Saughton prison.
He will co-ordinate the work of chaplains of all other denominations and although it has not been decided where he will be based, it is expected to be at one of the prisons in central Scotland.
Mr Fulton is looking forward to developing new and exciting training opportunities. He said, "I regard working towards excellence an important part of the churches' mission and this new position will provide excellent opportunities to develop training, as well as maintaining old acquaintances and forming new relationships."
Notes to editors
The Rev Stuart Fulton took up his post on January 7. For further information and comment he can be contacted on: 01324 623035 or 07855 314034.
Fr Brian Gowans can be contacted on: 01324 711558.
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