Bishop of Jarrow, the Right Reverend Mark Bryant, has spoken of his support for the region’s recovering addicts at a major regional event.
The Bishop joined hundreds of people from the Recovery community who attended a service at Durham Cathedral then held a sleepover in the building as part of a national weekend of activities.
Bishop Mark, who has long been a supporter of the Recovery community, told congregation members at a special service: “It seems to me is that Recovery is well and truly in the open. It is not something that happens in dark and dingy smoke filled rooms – though in many places that may still be the case – but it is well out in the open, proclaiming to everybody that yes things can go very badly and painfully wrong but that is not the end of the matter.
“I think it is also saying that we should not be ashamed and hide away when things go wrong but look to see how together we can find a way forward.
“Perhaps the thing that amazes and moves me and humbles me again and again is your deep commitment to honesty. You have discovered in a way that many have yet to find that without complete honesty – even about the most difficult things – there can be no moving forward.
“The Good News about honesty is that it is not there to make us feel bad about ourselves, is it not to be yet another excuse for beating ourselves up, but honesty is there as a springboard to help us move on to new and better things.
“Many of you have much to teach the rest of us about the meaning of true honesty – and together we need to keep reminding each other that the true purpose of honesty is to raise us up.
“The Recovery movement shows a deep commitment to personal responsibility. Today more than ever we find it easy to blame other people, to say that others, Government, the Church, they, should sort things out. The Recovery movement is firm about personal responsibility. When we get things wrong, we take full responsibility for that and we seek as far as we can to put that right and if we see something that needs doing we get on and do it .
“That is an important lesson for all of us. For me, the Recovery movement speaks of hope.
“In the world in which we live it is not difficult to sink into despair. What on earth do we do about large numbers of refugees fleeing situations which most of us cannot even begin to imagine? What about the situation in our own country where even those in work are unable to feed their families and the individuals who many of us know who lives seem just deeply muddled and confused.
“In a world like that we need hope and the hope we need is a real hope for which people have worked and struggled. The world in which we live has too much pain and too much difficulty to be solved by a card with trite verses. Many here tonight know the sheer human cost of hope, its pain and its toil. Hope that has been costly is true hope and it is that sort of hope that Recovery brings to our community.”