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Source : 25/09/1982 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Cool, calm and assured, a Doctor (female) is the picture of a middle class professional person.

Only a lack of make-up or of stylish clothes points to the modesty which pervades every part of her life.

For at the age of 31, this graduate of King's College, London, upholds the old and - to most of us - discredited idea that man should have authority over woman.

The woman, a child health specialist, is a member of the Jesus Fellowship New Creation Christian Community, which grew out of the Baptist church at Bugbrooke.

Like an island fortress battered by a sea of change, the community holds at bay the notion of sex equality.

The male-dominated Fellowship believes men and women are 'equal in status in Christ', but that the sexes have distinct roles in life.

The brothers hold the main 'caring' responsibility, while the sisters perform a 'supporting and enriching role as they live out the scriptural qualities of holy gentleness, quietness and modesty'.

In practice this excludes women from the ranks of the elders, the pastors of the community, and almost inevitably means that married women do household work if they lack specific professional or other skills.

The woman said: 'I very much believe it is right the men have authority - I see this as biblical. I don't see it as a woman's place to have authority over men, but I certainly don't see myself or others as under their thumb.'

Women step back 2,000 years into a biblical past when they enter the enclave of the New Creation Community.

Deference to the men, especially the elders, is expected. And the 20th Century trappings of womanhood - cosmetics, hairdos and fashionable clothes - are left behind in the 'world of the flesh'.

The Fellowship's attitude to women springs from the words of St. Paul: 'I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.'

And he advises women to dress in 'modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety: not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But with good works.'