Free! Recovery is a team of compassionate Christian workers, reaching out to people struggling with life-controlling issues; from the really addicted gambler, alcohol or drug user to those trapped in porn, eating issues, self-harm and everything in between, even those enslaved in angry, fearful and anxious thought patterns. The majority of us can relate first hand to one or more of the above issues and so we know how difficult the journey can be to move from slavery into freedom.
The core biblical passage comes from Paul in the book of Galatians, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 NIV). Each one of us has met the living Lord and has experienced this freedom in our own lives.
WHAT WE DO
Free! Recovery offers hope and freedom through hospitality, support groups, seminars, one on one meetings and our main ONLINE evening session on a Thursday, running each term for 10-weeks. We present interactive teaching, rooted in the book of Galatians and the opportunity for participants to explore the concepts of moving from the slavery of their addictive, life -controlling habits to freedom. We use biblical precepts and stories throughout all aspects of this work, in order to share the hope of life-giving freedom that can only be found through a relationship with the person of Christ. There is an in person work, able to continue in North London.
WHO WE ARE
Free! Recovery grew into existence in 2016, after beginning with a small group of interested workers on a Saturday afternoon in 2014. We began with recovery/addiction course materials from another organisation, and these, together with life experience from many years, learned how to run a recovery ministry alongside the addicted in the centre of London. We were then encouraged by Rico Tice, co-author of Christianity Explored and vicar of evangelism at All Souls Langham Place, to write a new material rooted in the book of Galatians and not based on the 12 -steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The goal of this material is to be biblical, practical and simple to apply to everyday, often very challenging, life struggles. Our mission is to create safe, compassionate places for those with life-controlling issues to explore and find freedom in Christ. In 2017, after having run several courses, we piloted the new material and as from September 2018 are into our fifth presentation of the Free! Recovery course and are now ready to branch out into the UK. Now at the end of 2020, we find ourselves having presented the ministry 9 times in Westminster and then Covid-19 struck the world. We moved online in April 2020 and we are just about to begin our third online presentation in January 2021. This has allowed the Free! ministry to reach out to people beyond the centre of London, even beyond the UK and we have now branched out internationally.
WHERE WE ARE GOING?
We have moved to become an independent organisation, still with a relationship with central and north London and are in the process of a charity application at the time of writing. The central Westminster ministry had become a Free! Recovery Hub for many struggling with life-controlling issues. When the Covid -19 crisis allows the Westminster work to restart, we have leaders ready to take on that ministry. Over 20 churches have been sending participants our way for help. We have, as from March 2019, begun a brand new hub in North London and during the past year visited churches and pastors from Liverpool, Manchester, Lancaster and East Belfast. We also had training sessions for church leaders from Maidenhead, Cambridge, Bournemouth and South London. Our vision is to encourage Church Hubs for training and ministry throughout the UK and further afield. We deeply respect and understand the “overwhelming” nature of ministry to those who are struggling and who need much time and ministry to move towards freedom. Churches joining resources and the training of church members with a heart to come alongside the hurting and addicted, are two aspects of what Free! Recovery hopes to promote as it moves forward. If you are interested in having a further conversation, host a training in your parish or begin a recovery ministry in your church please contact us.
STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
John Childress, Leadership training, men's facilitator and 1-2-1 biblical mentoring
Sally Childress, PHD Biblical Counselling, leadership training, women's facilitator and 1-2-1 biblical mentoring
Sheryl Emra, Women's facilitator and prayer leader
Kirstie Reid, Women's facilitator/presenter and 1-2-1 biblical mentoring at Woodberry Downs Baptist Free! ministry.
Richard Schafer, Men's facilitator/presenter
TRUSTEE BOARD (awaiting Charity formation)
Pastor Joe Turner
Pastor Charles Mugenyi
Secretary: Annette Thornally
Kirstie Reid BCUK year 2 working with Woodberry Downs Baptist Church in promoting Free!