Sunday, 29th October 2023, will be another milestone in the history of the battle against addiction to alcohol, drugs, and other harmful behaviours in Wales.

Once again, this year, a Sunday has been designated as Recovery Sunday to encourage churches not only to think about those suffering from various dependencies or addictions, to learn more about their situation, their needs, and the help available through such centres as Adferiad, the Living Room, Cynnal, Enfys, and other providers, but also to encourage churches to do something practical to help. This could involve a financial contribution towards the work. Others may take note of what is said in Hebrews 13, 3 “Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them.” The author of the letter to the Hebrews no doubt refers to a literal, physical prison, but on Recovery Sunday let us remember that addiction to alcohol, drugs, food, sex/pornography, gambling etc. is a prison for so many people today.

The service has been prepared for us by the Revd Canon Dr Trystan Owain Hughes and will be transmitted on BBC Radio Cymru on the morning of Sunday 29th October – and you can use this service in your churches. It's available for download here.

“Some years back, at the beginning of my ministry, I was taking a service at a care home and I read confidently from Matthew’s Gospel: ‘The greatest commandment is love God with all your heart, your mind, and your soul; and the second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself’.  Without warning, an elderly woman at the back of the room suddenly shouted: ‘I don’t love my neighbour’. I was left speechless. I looked at the care assistants, they looked at me.  But the moment of silence gave the woman the opportunity to add: ‘and, listen ’ere vicar, if you knew her, you wouldn’t love her either!’

That woman, of course, had stumbled across a timeless truth – it’s easier to preach love and compassion than it is to live it out.”

This will be Wales’s twelfth Recovery Sunday. On this Sunday, we invite Christians to unite in prayer for those who are dependent and trapped in addiction, asking God to help us to help them.

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