Source : 11/06/1986 Northampton Chronicle and Echo
The Bugbrooke-based Jesus Fellowship has denied allegations that it is to establish rehabilitation centres for drug and alcohol addicts in Stoke-on-Trent treading on the feet of workers from other churches.
The allegations were made by the Rev. Maurice Stafford, a Methodist minister in Stoke.
He asked, on a radio programme, why the Fellowship, if it was just a mainstream Christian church, had members travelling all the way to Stoke to hold meetings.
He said the Fellowship was not consulting other Baptist churches there.
But Mr. Ian Callard, a Fellowship member who travels regularly to Stoke from Northampton, said there was no rehabilitation centre plan.
'There are about 10 folk who live up there and other members who travel there' Local people also went to regular Sunday meetings in a hired hall. But the Fellowship owned no buildings there and often used members' homes.
'From time to time it may be that various people come to stay if we felt that we can help them. But it could not be in a formal rehabilitation centre with staff or anything, because we don't do any work like that' he said.
He said the Fellowship's work there involved the Sunday meetings, other gatherings in members' homes and evangelistic work, knocking on doors or visiting public houses.
He said he understood that other churches were happy with this so long as the Fellowship did not take their congregations.