Source : 23/12/1982 Northampton Chronicle and Echo
The report of the inquest upon the death of Mr Paul Andrews (Chronicle and Echo, December 16) and subsequent editorial (December 17) may have conveyed a misleading impression as to the facts of the case and thus resulted in a slur upon the integrity of the Jesus Fellowship Church (Baptist).
The facts are these:-
1. Mr Andrews was never more than a visitor to the Church. His home and church were in Surrey (where he is buried). His first contact with us some three years ago was limited to him attending one or two services while he was working locally. During that time he worshipped at another local church.
2. At the time of his accident in March this year, Mr. Andrews was staying with myself and my family for a few days while he looked for work in this area. He had become unemployed in the Surrey area and he came to us unexpectedly, seeking some help. He was clearly disturbed at the time and was under medical supervision. His father recognised his disturbed state and hoped we could help. Prior to his recent visits, we had not seen him for almost three years.
3. As a Christian Church, we give hospitality to many people, including those with mental illness. It was at the suggestion of a doctor who is a member of the Jesus Fellowship Church (Baptist) that Mr. Andrews was referred to a psychiatrist. Incidentally, the Church has six medical doctors in membership. I find it astonishing that attempts should be made to blame the Church for his disturbed condition - this has nothing whatsoever to do with the Church, whose members were in fact trying to help solve his problems.
4. Concerning Mr Andrews' accident, this did not result in fatal injuries. He died of a medical complication two months after the accident, during an otherwise good recovery. The inquest verdict was accidental death.
In all these circumstances, it would be thoroughly malicious to imply that the Church was in any way responsible for Me. Andrews' mental state, his accident or his death.
Elder, Jesus Fellowship Church (Baptist)