On September 26th 2022, the Jesus Fellowship Community Trust launched its long-awaited compensation scheme for abuse survivors within the religious group known as the “Jesus Army”, which is now defunct.
In recent years, allegations of financial, emotional, physical and sexual abuse from both children and adults have surfaced. A number of people have been convicted of carrying out abuse at the Jesus Fellowship Church, which has since issued an apology.
Abuse survivors now have until 31st December 2023 to apply to the compensation scheme.
Malcolm Johnson, head of our abuse department, is advising the Jesus Fellowship Survivors Association, which has been set up to support victims of abuse in the church.
He says: “I have been honoured to represent the Jesus Fellowship Survivors Association, which has worked tirelessly with the church to bring this long-awaited compensation scheme into being.
“What happened to many people in the Jesus Army is appalling. Moreover, if these vulnerable people tried to tell anyone what happened to them, they were not believed. However, thanks to the many survivors who found the courage to come forward, they have now been given the apology and justice they deserve.
“I would encourage survivors of abuse to apply to the settlement scheme. While no amount of money can change what happened to them or make up for how they have suffered since, the compensation can provide closure and enable them to move forward.
“We know there are many people out there who can corroborate other people’s allegations and this evidence is going to be crucial to the success of a compensation application. The scheme really represents what may be a final chance for survivors to tell their story.”
The main features of the Jesus Army Compensation Scheme are:
- A written apology acknowledging what has happened to survivors, providing acceptance of responsibility and an assurance that lessons of the past have been learned and shared with relevant authorities
- For sexual, physical or emotional abuse, an award of compensation for the harm a survivor has suffered, aligned with common law compensation awards
- For sexual, physical or emotional abuse, an invitation to meet with a trustee of the church closing team
- A dedicated support fund for individual grants towards counselling.
Although no figures have been published, compensation will be awarded according to the severity of the abuse suffered. Typically, court-awarded payments for the “pain, suffering and loss of amenity” element of abuse range up to £80,000.
If you wish to discuss the above with Malcolm and his team, please call us free on 0808 164 0808. Or, you can request a call back and we will call you.