Bishop Paul visited Liverpool’s only dry bar and restaurant The Brink as part of an exclusive insight day.
The flagship social enterprise, which is run by Action on Addiction, greeted Bishop Paul to further the Bishop’s understanding of what the collective charities do to help those battling drug and alcohol addictions.
Throughout the afternoon, the Bishop was able to meet and greet staff members, whilst also getting to know people that have successfully overcome their addictions, through the aid of the various recovery initiatives including creative group sessions, voluntary work and counselling.
Since opening in 2011, The Brink has helped more than 2,700 people to rebuild their lives and created 18 new jobs and 15 volunteer positions, with 70% of these going to people in recovery. The Brink has also been held up as an example of best practice for other cities looking to set up similar projects.
Bishop Paul said: “Addiction is a monster that can consume lives, creating isolation and alienation from society. Christians believe that Jesus calls us to get alongside people struggling with addictions and support them on their road to recovery.
“The Brink does that in a creative and refreshing way, and I was delighted to share its life for an afternoon. I was impressed by the welcoming atmosphere and moved and encouraged by the courage and example of those I met who were in recovery. My prayer is that we can all find more ways to support and include those for face a challenging fight with addiction.”
Head of Service at Action on Addiction Merseyside, Karen Hemmings added: “It was wonderful to welcome Bishop Paul and show him what The Brink is all about on both a recovery level and as a social hub, restaurant and dry bar all rolled into one.
“Not only were we able to talk about how the initiative positively impacts members of the recovery community, by offering them a safe and supportive space in which they can engage with people in similar circumstances as well as the general public – the Bishop was also able to meet recovery members and learn about their personal success stories.”