Those living in the New Creation Christian Community, are not only obliged to give all of their income into the household common purse, but are also required to pay rent to the 'Jesus Fellowship Community Trust' for themselves and their offspring.
Rates for board and lodging are at least:
Children 0 - 4 years of age: £15 per week.
Children 5 - 10 years of age: £20 per week.
Children 1 - 15 years of age: £25 per week.
Adults 16+ years of age: £65 per week. (£75 in London)
(These figures are at least 4 years old, rates may vary within different households and areas, and may also have increased since this time)
Since 1993 many local housing authorities have stopped making housing benefit payments to Jesus Fellowship members who live within the community households. Claims for housing benefit were considered to be contrived to 'take advantage of the benefits system'. Benefit payments were stopped, and a number of legal cases have been brought, with the fellowship taking local councils and housing benefit departments to court over the housing benefit issue.
In 2004, four senior elders within the fellowship appealed earlier decisions to not allow housing benefit payments, citing 'religious discrimination' and a breach of the 'European Convention on Human rights'. The case was quickly dismissed, religious discrimination being ruled out, after consideration of the fellowships' 'statement of faith'.
Over the years, there have been various court cases arguing the issues of Housing Benefit to Jesus Fellowship members, including.
R v Milton Keynes HBRB., ex parte Saxby.
R v Sheffield B.C., ex parte Smith.
R v Rugby B.C., ex parte Harrison.
R v Daventry D.C., ex parte Bodden.
R v Stratford HBRB., ex parte White.
08/04/2004 : JESUS ARMY LOSES ITS BENEFIT APPEAL
27/02/2004 : JESUS ARMY FOUR IN BENEFITS COURT BATTLE
16/02/1995 : JESUS GROUP'S BENEFIT BATTLE
10/01/1986 : SECT IS TOLD NOT TO CROWD HOUSES
BBC 07/04/2004 : No housing benefit for 'commune'
BBC 26/02/2004 : Church's challenge over benefits
Daily Telegraph online 19/03/1998, Cult church man wins benefit appeal
Daily Telegraph online, Cult church man wins benefit appeal
Charity Commission : Jesus Fellowship Housing Association Ltd (removed)
Details of, Campbell & Others v Northampton (26 Feb 2004)
Court Service, More from the Court Service
Details of, Saxby v Milton Keynes Housing Benefit Review Board.(3 April 2001)
From : Law Reports, Butterworths, Court Service
DSS Circulars relating the the Jesus Fellowship, A15 1997, A16 1998