Abbey marks achievements of DrugFAM

A Service of Celebration and Hope to mark the achievements of DrugFAM was held at Westminster Abbey at Noon on Tuesday 9th May 2017.

DrugFAM provides safe, caring and professional support to families, friends and carers who are struggling to cope with the nightmare of someone else’s addiction.

The service was attended by the Home Secretary, the Right Honourable Amber Rudd.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding:

We gather in this ancient church which has seen many occasions through its long history of sadness and gladness to recall the bane and blessing of the availability of drugs. We know the blessing of the relief from suffering provided by drug therapy; and we know of the bane of drugs that are abused.

As we remember incidents of the abuse of drugs and acknowledge the damage and havoc they can wreak, especially in young lives and families, we shall pray for all who have committed themselves to avert drug misuse, to prevent drug addiction and to aid the recovery of those who have become addicted.

We shall rededicate ourselves, and all who can join with us, in a commitment to enabling every human being to live with dignity, to be respected, to fulfil their potential. We shall honour the humanity of each person made in the image of God.

Testimonies were read by Sarah Bromfield, a family member affected by addiction, and the Reverend Graeme Skinner, a family member bereaved by addiction.

Dr Keith Humphreys, Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University and a former White House Drugs Policy Adviser, read Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8. The Home Secretary read St Matthew 5, 1-10.

The Address was given by Elizabeth Burton-Philips, Founder of DrugFAM.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Precentor of Westminster, and said by Sarah Henderson, DrugFAM ambassador; Martin Lucas, behavioural scientist; Sir Anthony Seldon, patron; Nicola Dearing, a family member bereaved by addiction; and the Reverend Professor Vernon White, Canon in Residence.

Simon Mills read ‘For Nick’.

The Reverend Christopher Stoltz led an Act of Dedication.

The service was sung by the Special Choir of Westminster Abbey conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist, and before the service by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist.

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© 2017 The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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