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Source : 14/11/1986 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

The Baptist Union says it was embarrassed into expelling the Bugbrooke-based Jesus Fellowship from its organisation, because of bad publicity about the sect.

The Union, based in London, took the unusual step of severing links with the Fellowship two days ago, but it had declined to give any reasons.

Now it has issued a statement, saying that adverse publicity about the sect over many years had caused 'embarrassment' to the union.

The statement also says the Fellowship was expelled because it was becoming a national rather than a local organisation and because it had a 'lack of involvement in denominational life and a unilateral programme of recruitment.'

The union say 129 of its 137 council members were in favour of expelling the Fellowship, but the decision already had the backing of the Northamptonshire Baptist Association and the Central Area Baptist Association.

The Fellowship has recently been at the centre of criticism from the Press, including detailed reports and investigations by The Sunday Mirror and the Star.

But former sect members, religious leaders and local MP Michael Morris have also hit out at the sect. Criticisms have been directed at the range of the Fellowship's activities, including its attitude towards Christmas.