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Queen’s minister becomes king’s man
Sydney Anglicans ^ | 8/12/2005 | unknown

Posted on 08/11/2005 12:30:01 PM PDT by sionnsar

‘Britain’s Chuck Colson’, former Tory MP Jonathan Aitken, has called for Sydney Anglicans to do more to support the Prison Fellowship – a ministry that transformed his own life.

Aitken, a former Chief Secretary to the Treasury was a high-flier who had it all – talent, riches and good looks.

However, after his libel case against The Guardian newspaper collapsed in 1997, Aitken was charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice.

In 1999 he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Being brought so low forced Aitken to his knees where he did ‘the only thing that was of the faintest possible use given the circumstances’.

“I knelt down on the prison floor and said a prayer,” he says.

During the time Aitken was waiting to be sentenced he gave his life to Christ.

“I was alone at home feeling miserable, when a distant acquaintance offered to pray with me.”

“When I realised he wanted to come and pray aloud with me, I would rather have gone to the dentist without anaesthetic,” Mr Aitken says.

“We prayed and it wasn’t too bad. He offered to come back with more prayer support and he came back with a friend – Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship.”

Aitken became a Christian in 1999 after completing the Alpha Course.

The Alpha course is now running in the prison systems of 40 countries, with more than 21,000 male and female prisoners having participated. 

Mr Aitken’s current visit to Australia is on behalf of Prison Fellowship and Alpha and he is speaking at several functions for each.

“The reason I am out here is to raise the profile of Prison Alpha, to address many audiences and tell people how wonderful these ministries are,” he says.

While in prison, Mr Aitken started a prayer group which begun with one Irish burglar named Paddy and soon grew to 20 men.

Mr Aitken is pleased to say that 18 of these 20 are still going strong as Christians.

“Of the twenty members of the group, 18 are still Christians. One is serving a life sentence in prison, and the other 17 who are out of jail are leading law abiding lives, committed to the Lord and saviour who they discovered and who redeemed them in prison,” he says.

Aitken is encouraging Sydney Anglicans to do more to support Prison Fellowship and Prison Alpha.

“Anglicans in Sydney set a good theological pace through Moore College. I went to Wycliffe, Oxford, who theologically are kindred spirits with Moore,” Mr Aitken says.

“I hope there will be more emphasis on prison ministry from the College.”

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 08/11/2005 12:30:01 PM PDT by sionnsar
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