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Source : 15/06/1989 Northampton Citizen

Angry Archdeacon Bazil Marsh has slammed the Northampton based Jesus Army as being more like a 'snatch squad' than a church.

And he has accused the organisation of being an enclosed cult 'which does not do any of the good things it says it does'.

The Venerable Bazil March, Archdeacon of Northampton, speaks out against the organisation in a special investigative report due to be shown on Anglia TV.

Titled 'Jesus Army - Church or Cult' the programme examines the conceptions and beliefs behind the controversial cult.

Representing conventional Christians, the Ven Bazil Marsh hit out at the image and ideas of the militant movement.

'The Rambo jacket they have chosen to ware is not a uniform of service, it is a uniform of force' argued the outspoken leader of the town's Church of England members.

But Noel Stanton, the founder member of the Bugbrooke-based group, has hit back at the biting comments claiming his members are Bible-believing Christians. 'There are people who want to dub us as a cult, but we are very orthodox' he explained.

And he argued that the combat jacket uniform is a way of showing that God's people are a true army headed by Jesus Christ.

The movement has expanded from Northampton across the country and has an annual turnover of 15 million from its farms and warehouses.

Present day members of the church in Northampton, including a doctor and a former drug user, talk about the benefits the church has brought to their lives.

The debate can be seen on Anglia tonight (Thursday) at 10.35pm