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Source : 26/11/1986 Northampton Post

The controversial Jesus People Fellowship will be allowed to use Northampton's Derngate despite a plea from local MP Michael Morris.

At last night's meeting of the borough's Derngate Committee, councillors threw out the MP's call for a ban on the Bugbrooke-based sect.

Delighted Fellowship spokesman Ed Hunt told the Post after the meeting: 'We are extremely pleased at the decision. The Derngate is almost the only place in this area big enough for our meetings.'

The meeting heard that the sect are one of Derngate's best customers, and committee member John Dickie said it would be wrong to ban a lawful organisation from council property.

The Bugbrooke-based Jesus People have been holding meetings at the centre for the past three years.

Around 800 members and interested members of the public cram the venue for the meetings when Noel Stanton takes to the stage to preach to his followers.

Angry MP Michael Morris called for the religious group to be banned from holding their meetings at the borough council-owned building.

He wrote tot the chairman of the Derngate Committee Coun. Trever Chown and centre Manager Robert Moore.

Mr Moore told the committee the fellowship had been 'model hirers' over the past three years and he didn't believe they ought to be banned.

They have booked the centre for one more meeting this year and six further Sunday morning meetings next year.

Mr Moore told the committee that the staff had an exceptionally good relationship with the organisation.

Mr Morris has called for a Government inquiry into the controversial Jesus Fellowship's activities.