Disgraced Methodist Minister Paul Flowers continues to battle with drug addiction
Last week, former chairman of the Co-operative Bank, Paul Flowers, was stripped of his power to lead services for the Church and of his title ‘Reverend’ for his drug-seeking behavior. Flowers, 66, had become a Methodist minister in Bradford in 1976.
The Church made a statement saying that Flowers had been removed from the list of ministers of the Methodist church following the disciplinary process against him. The Church added that Flowers has seriously impaired the mission, witness, or integrity of the Church. Though Flowers has accepted the Church’s disciplinary proceedings, he said that he now lacked the same respect for the Church as an institution.
In June 2013, Flowers stepped down from his job at the Co-operative Bank soon after the discovery of £1.5 billion hole in its finances. Six months later, Flowers appeared before the Treasury Select Committee that accused him of not knowing the very basic details of bank’s finances.
A few days later, Flowers was filmed counting £300 to buy cocaine and crystal meth in a drugs deal. Post publishing of his story in the Mail, he was nicknamed “The Crystal Methodist”. In May 2014, Flowers was fined £525 for possessing cocaine, crystal meth and ketamine.
In December 2016, the Church’s disciplinary body had informed Flowers of its decision to remove him. While he did not exercise his right to appeal, he can no longer use the title of “Reverend” nor lead the Church services. On Jan. 22, 2017, Flowers spoke to BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Program and said that though his problems were largely in the past, he could not say that they are completely over. Flowers told Radio 4 that he feels that all people struggle with the issue of addiction and that people have different addictions.
Flowers cited his mother’s death as the issue behind his drug use and admitted that his disastrous performance in front of the Treasury Select Committee could have been due to the influence of drugs. He also admitted that the work pressure at Co-operative Bank was what pushed him towards drugs.
Still addicted to drugs, The Crystal Methodist opens up about his new lover
Days after Flowers was stripped of his title of “Reverend” and his job at the Co-operative Bank, he announced his relationship online with a nightclub DJ James David Rex Lothian Nicholson. The announcement came on Facebook where “The Crystal Methodist” posted a topless photograph with his lover titled, ‘Cat that got the cream!’ and declared that he was in a happy and fulfilling relationship with Nicholson.
Nicholson, 30, hails from St Helen’s. He had been married, but the marriage fell through before he had met Flowers.
From desperate homelessness to life in church ministry: Another priest’s transformative journey
Unlike Flowers, Claude Paradise, once homeless and addicted to substances changed his way of life after coming in contact with the Church. Paradis undertook a journey that transformed him from an addict to Father Paradis who is devoted to serving the poor and the needy.
According to the Catholic News Agency, the 57-year-old told the Journal Metro that the street brought him to the Church and the Church brought him back to the street. As per him, when he arrived in Montreal 25 years ago, he was unable to find a job, lived on the streets, and became addicted to crack and cocaine.
Reflecting on his moment of meeting with God, Father Paradis said that he met God just when he doubted him and was inspired to become a man of the Church. He battled his addictions and became a minister to help those facing struggles similar to him.
Father Paradis has begun an initiative called Notre-Dame-de-la-rue (Our Lady of the Street) that provides food, shelter, counseling to those in need. In December 2016, Father Paradis slept alongside Montreal’s homeless to serve and live in solidarity alongside them.
Road to recovery
If you know someone struggling with drug addiction, it is time to call the drug addiction helpline and seek professional treatment. At the 24/7 Drug Addiction Helpline, we can help you find the best drug addiction centers in the U.S. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-403-5607 or chat online with our representatives to get the right help for drug addiction.