Former cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken inspires packed relaunch of course for addicts

Former cabinet minister Rev Jonathan Aitken delivered an impassioned keynote address at the Recovery Course Conference held in the heart of central London, at St George the Martyr Church on Saturday.

The venue was filled to capacity, comprising past participants of the Recovery Course, addiction professionals, and members of the wider Christian community.

The Recovery Course, initially launched in 2007, thrived under the leadership of its founder, Nigel Skelsey, at Holy Trinity Brompton Church.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the availability of the Recovery Course experienced a decline out of necessity. This conference was designed to serve as a catalyst for a nationwide resurgence.

With addiction and its associated challenges always prevalent within our society, there is a pressing need to reintroduce practical solutions.

The conference served as a timely platform for those passionate about making a positive impact on the lives of individuals who may struggle with addiction in any of its various forms, such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, food, exercise, work, or issues of power and control.

Time was made for networking, moments of worship and prayer, encounters with transformative stories, participation in focused seminars, and exposure to experienced speakers.

Rev Jonathan Aitken, 81, works part-time as a prison chaplain at Pentonville Prison. His prison ministry was inspired by his own stint behind bars in the late nineties for perjury, during which he met God, dramatically changing the course of his life. 

Before the pandemic, the Recovery Course had already made significant strides in several UK prisons. Aitken has witnessed firsthand the profound impact of addiction on lives and is passionate in his belief in the potential for transformative change in one's life.

The Recovery Course follows a 12-step treatment model, akin to Alcoholics Anonymous, rooted in clearly defined Christian principles aimed at fostering spiritual sobriety and life improvement. Participants are offered mutual support by sharing their experiences, strengths, and hopes with each other.

"Never underestimate the power of personal testimony," emphasised Aitken during his address to the packed conference.

A spokesperson for the Recovery Course told attendees, "If you or your church are interested in setting up and running the Recovery Course in your community, we can offer helpful guidance. There is an urgent need to get help out there to people who need it. We firmly believe that with the right support, recovery and enduring change are possible for anyone."

For further information, please visit the Recovery Course website: