Prison Mission

Bible Society has a rich history of working in prisons and alongside prisoners, dating back to our very foundation in 1804. Bible Society’s founders and early leaders included William Wilberforce and the Earl of Shaftesbury, and many of them – members of the Clapham Sect of evangelical Christians – were committed to prison reform and changes to the penal system.

In fact the Earl of Shaftesbury’s success in improving the care of those detained for mental health reasons under the 'Lunacy Laws', as they were known, is arguably one of his greatest, yet least-known, achievements. Another early figure in the life of Bible Society, Thomas Foxwell Buxton, was an influential campaigner for prison reform, particularly around improvements in conditions for prisoners. Buxton was a keen advocate for the work  of renowned prisoner reformer Elizabeth Fry, ‘the angel of prisons', and even featured alongside her on the back of the Bank of England £5 note issued from 2002–2017, in a painting of them visiting Newgate Prison in 1816.

Bible Society is committed to carrying on that legacy. Working with prison chaplains, and prisoners directly, we aim to improve access to Bibles and Bible engagement materials in whatever language prisoners need, in the belief that by engaging with the Bible their lives can be changed, for good.

The Bible Course in Prisons

An eight-session course helping prisoners explore the world's bestseller.

Bible Distribution

Bible Society is committed to ensuring every prisoner in England Wales has a chance to engage with, and be changed by, the Bible, in whichever language they need it in.

You may also be intrested in

The Bible Course

The Bible Course

Whether you're well versed in Scripture or just starting out on the journey, The Bible Course offers a superb overview of the world’s best-selling book.



In 2020, we'll be bringing the Bible to Britain's towns and cities in what we believe is the most exciting mission project in a generation. Working alongside local churches, we're reaching out to people who might never have engaged with the Bible through a powerful, immersive film called Home 360.

Explore the Bible

Explore the Bible

Find out about the Bible, and its history, also try using our improved Bible search to find the passage you're after, or search the Bible by keyword.

Bringing the Bible to life

Bible Society, Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon, SN5 7DG. Registered charity 232759