Doing Time

A spiritual survival guide

£6.99

ISBN: 9780745981499 Categories: ,

ISBN: 9780745981499

Publication date: October 22, 2021

Format: Ebook

Extent: 96 pages

Imprint: Lion Books

Jonathan Aitken and Edward Smyth both experienced a dramatic fall from grace.

Each of them found themselves removed from their homes and loved ones, locked up in prison and having to deal with the fallout of their actions. However, in the middle of their lowest point they discovered something life-changing. God hadn’t forgotten about them.

Doing Time offers encouragement and advice on how to survive and even make the most of life inside prison. Offering the sort of practical and spiritual wisdom that only comes from personal experience, it shows that it is never too late for God to help us find a new way forward in our lives.

Meet the author: Mr Edward Smyth

Edward Smyth served a brief prison sentence in 2015 at the age of twenty-four. He has since acquired a master’s degree in criminology from Oxford and has built a career in criminal justice. He currently works for the Forward Trust and is researching part-time for a doctorate in theology, focusing on prison chaplaincy, at the University of Durham. He is the author of Doing Time.


Meet the author: Mr Jonathan Aitken

Jonathan Aitken is an ex-MP, ex-Cabinet Minister, and ex-prisoner. After pleading guilty to telling a lie on oath in a libel action, he served an eighteen-month prison sentence in 1989. An Oxford graduate in law and theology, he is a well-known broadcaster, author, and journalist. He was ordained in 2018 and is now serving as a voluntary prison chaplain at HMP Pentonville and as an assistant priest at St Matthew’s Westminster. He is the author of Doing Time.


Reviews for Doing Time

“My father, Lord Longford, who devoted much of his life to caring for prisoners would have loved this book. It is full of spiritual and practical wisdom – a treasury of tips on how to cope with life behind bars.” 

Lady Antonia Fraser

“An excellent and much-needed book written by two men who have been through the prison experience and wish to pass on their knowledge of the help that spirituality can bring. Truly great advice for anyone doing bird.” 

Noel “Razor” Smith, Commissioning Editor of insidetime, author of the best-selling memoir A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun and Jonathan Aitken’s cell neighbour in HMP Belmarsh.

“What a brilliant informative book! The knowledge of being able to survive in prison is so well presented in each chapter plus the spiritual part of the book is a life saver. To coin a phrase it’s an inside job. A must read!”

Michael Emmett, author of Sins of Fathers: A Spectacular Break from a Dark Criminal Past

“Prison can be a grim, unforgiving place. It can also be a place of transformation. This is an invaluable little book that brings together the vast experience of two people who know the prison system from both the inside and outside. It is honest, practical and wise – a valuable guide to help those who end up in prison to make the experience as redemptive as possible.”

The Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington, Bishop for Prisons, Diocese of London

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