Jesus Army in Northampton: Deadline approaching for survivors to make compensation claim

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More than 140 claimants have come forward and 25 claims have been settled

The deadline for Jesus Army survivors in Northampton to make a claim for compensation is approaching.

The Jesus Army Compensation Scheme is due to close on December 31, after it launched in September last year.

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Malcolm Johnson, head of abuse claims at Lime Solicitors, warns that time is of the essence, as the claims can take over a month to submit. He is advising that it is paramount that survivors come forward and submit their claims well before the deadline.

The deadline is approaching for Jesus Army survivors to make a claim.The deadline is approaching for Jesus Army survivors to make a claim.
The deadline is approaching for Jesus Army survivors to make a claim.

Malcolm Johnson said: “I would strongly advise survivors to apply to the scheme as soon as possible; we are running out of time to ensure that survivors can receive the apology and justice they deserve.

“While the process of preparing a claim is simple, it can take more than four weeks to collect the information needed. It is vital to come forward this month to ensure that there is sufficient time to submit your claim, and make your voice heard.”

In just over a year since the scheme opened, Malcolm has represented 140 claimants and settled 25 claims.

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Philippa Barnes, from the Jesus Fellowship Survivors Association, added: “No apology or compensation scheme can change what happened, but it is essential to ensure the abuse of the past is acknowledged. With the scheme’s end fast approaching, I hope that more will come forward to ensure they get the compensation they deserve.”

Main features of the Jesus Army compensation scheme

  • A written apology acknowledging what has happened to survivors, providing acceptance of responsibility and an assurance that lessons of the past have been learned and shared with relevant authorities
  • For sexual, physical or emotional abuse, an award of compensation for the harm a survivor has suffered, aligned with common law compensation awards
  • For sexual, physical or emotional abuse, an invitation to meet with a trustee of the church closing team
  • A dedicated support fund for individual grants towards counselling

Compensation will be awarded according to the severity of the abuse suffered. Court-awarded payments for the “pain, suffering and loss of amenity” element of abuse range up to £120,000.

The scheme is open to anyone who suffered sexual, physical, or emotional abuse in the Jesus Fellowship. There are also schemes available for individuals who have experienced other negative experiences due to the Church, including individuals who meet the broad criteria for community adverse experiences, either as a child or adult.

The deadline for applying to the scheme is December 31, 2023. If you were affected by the Jesus Army, email [email protected], call 0207 264 4352.

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What was the Jesus Army?

Originally set up by founder Noel Stanton in Bugbrooke in 1969, the Jesus Army was a cult-like religious movement, which attracted thousands of members who lived together in close-knit, rural communes. Mr Stanton remained at the helm of the organisation until 2009 when he died.

In 2017 the new leader Mick Haines said, in a speech, he had become aware of “serious allegations” about Mr Stanton.

More allegations of financial, emotional, physical and sexual abuse from both children and adults have surfaced. In 2019 Chronicle & Echo reported some 200 claims had been made.

A number of people have been convicted of carrying out abuse at the Jesus Fellowship Church, which has since issued an apology.