18th December - People overcoming addiction

Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?

Matthew 7:1-3

Over the last three years, Durham Cathedral has been proud to develop a link of friendship with the Safe Durham Partnership which aims to support those who are seeking to recover from addiction. In 2012, the magnificent County Durham Recovery Banner was dedicated in Durham Cathedral and it is carried in procession at the annual Durham Miners' Gala. The Recovery Choir, Durham Voices of Recovery, made its first public performance at the service and has gone from strength to strength. This October a second service was held and the Bishop of Jarrow gave an address, moving stories were told, the Recovery Choir were magnificent. These services tell of both hope and realism. Some who seek recovery from addiction sadly lose their struggle; but many others make great progress and come through to full recovery. The support and friendship and sheer commitment of the County Durham Recovery Forum and all whom it supports is a joy to behold. It is a vivid illustration of the hope that we express in Advent. And next year, Durham will host the UK Recovery Walk - watch this space.

Canon David Kennedy is Vice-Dean and Precentor of Durham Cathedral. He is a member of the Church of England Liturgical Commission, Chair of PRAXIS and Chair of Durham Diocesan Liturgical Committee. He also undertakes teaching in the Department of Theology and Religion, Cranmer Hall & the Wesley Studies Centre and the Durham Reader Training Course.

Daily prayer

Father, we pray that those in recovery from addiction may find a loving and non-judgemental welcome in our churches. May they be a safe haven for them and their families. Renew and inspire all those engaged in ministrry in this area.


Lord, in this time of Advent open our hearts to those who feel excluded from Your church.
Help us draw in those on the margins and place them in the centre of our family.