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Superintendent Writes

Sunday, 31st July, 2005

Jonathan Aitken’s story has been highly publicised. He was on Margaret Thatcher’s inner Cabinet in London, a future Prime minister. But he lied under oath over who paid for a stay in Paris, committed perjury and was sent to jail. He became bankrupt, his wife left him. Then he found Jesus Christ who forgave him. He has written his story in two books: In Pride and Perjury he tells the story with frank honesty, interweaving the facts behind the newspaper stories with his spiritual journey. This is compulsive reading. The story of how God can make a ‘new man’ from a repentant sinner. With the help of steadfast friends, prayer partners and a close family despite a divorce, he, like his friend Charles Colson, feels tried and tested by God ready to face the mystery of a new life.

The sequel to this best-seller, Porridge and Passion describes Aitken’s journey from sentencing at the Old Bailey, through his incarceration at Belmarsh prison and the many dramas along the way, to his eventual release and the beginnings of a new life with nothing but a black plastic sack of clothes. In his sequel Aitken starts his story as he is taken down from the courtroom and incarcerated at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. He writes frankly of subsequent events. Visited by the ever-optimistic Lord Longford, Aitken emerged from the jaws of despair a chastened man. How this Old Etonian former Cabinet Minister on Mrs Thatcher’s inner circle managed to establish new relationships and lasting friendships with fellow prisoners is fascinating — so too is this account of how religious belief transformed his life and began to influence the life of others.

Aitken was then accepted at Wycliffe Hall Oxford to read theology and how this reconditioned his mind as well as his soul. Aitken has lost none of his charm, fluency and determination. But now these are used for greater purposes. He has found a new life and meaning to it. The authenticity of this new life is something which drives him on, and which you will be able to judge for yourselves. He is speaking at a luncheon I will be attending at Parliament House on Wed 10th August at 12:30pm. (Cost $60. Bookings at Prison Fellowship pfansw@bigpond.com) Like Charles Colson, the former Richard Nixon White House Legal head, who has gone on to become the most influential Christian leader in USA after Billy Graham, Jonathan Aitkin is on the way to becoming a Christian leader in the UK, supporting Alpha programs and Prison Fellowship.

 

This is Gordon Moyes.


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