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Source : 04/08/2000 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

A rave will be held by the controversial Jesus Army despite initial attempts by Northampton Borough council to block the late-night event.

Destiny night is expected to attract up to 500 people on September 15, when sound systems and live music will be rigged up in Delapre Park.

Plans for the event had at first been halted by councillors, who told leaders of the religious organisation every park in the town had been booked throughout the summer.

But an alternative date was found later in the year, and the council's environment services committee has eventually given it the go-ahead.

John Campbell, communications manager for the Jesus Army, said the event was a chance for people to explore their spiritual side: 'It is a new venture and something we have been considering for some time.'

'The church has go to prove it is attractive to young people today.'

'The youth is the future.'

The organisers will target the 16 to 35 age group in the hope of attracting new members to the Jesus Army.

The event will run from 9pm until 2am, and will include DJs and a live band - likely to be one of the Jesus Army's three outfits.

An area, called the Faith Zone, will be set aside for meditation and will feature a baptism pool and a Prayer Graffiti wall, allowing revellers to scrawl their own personal messages to God.

Mr Campbell said: 'The Millennium Dome has its own Faith Zone, but hopefully this one will be more successful.'

A similar event to Destiny was held last month at the notorious rave venue, The Sanctuary in Milton Keynes, which has witnessed deaths from drug overdoses in the past.

But the Jesus Army organisers have imposed a strict no alcohol policy for both the Northampton and Milton Keynes events.

Mr Campbell said: 'We are waiting to see if we will be doing these type of events again - it is at an experimental stage.'

'But there are people who are hoping we will do something next year.'