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Source : 26/06/1989 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Controversy is never far behind the Jesus Army.

And the latest documentary about the Bugbrooke-based group on TV has helped rekindle the debate on its motives, whether they are good or bad.

What I found illuminating about the programme was the information it gave about the financial operations of the Army.

Its 'general', Pastor Noel Stanton, revealed that turnover from its business activities, ranging from shops to farms, is around 15 million a year, and it also owns various properties all over the country.

What does St Matthew say about this? I quote: 'Ly not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven ...'

Or, to put it another way, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.

The Archeacon, the Ven Bazil Marsh, one of the most outspoken critics of the Jesus Army, said the combat uniform they wore had more in common with Rambo than with the Salvation Army - Mr Stanton said he would not object to the movement being likened to the early days of the Salvationists.

Personally I think its gear is a walking advertisement for Army surplus stores - I wonder if the Bugbrooke outfit might own some of these?