Prominent evangelical minister accused of spiritual abuse

A report in The Telegraph has detailed allegations of spiritual abuse against prominent evangelical leader and former Reform trustee Jonathan Fletcher.

According to the report, in 2017, the Bishop of Southwark stripped Mr Fletcher of his powers to continue preaching and officiating at services following anonymous complaints.

It is understood that the complaints against Mr Fletcher did not involve criminal behaviour and related only to spiritual abuse, not physical or sexual.

Emmanuel Wimbledon, where Mr Fletcher was minister from 1982 until his retirement in 2012, issued a response to The Telegraph report in which that it became aware of allegations from unnamed individuals in 2017 and again after September 2018. 

Both times, these were reported to Southwark Diocese, which in turn reported the allegations to the police.  However, no further action was taken by the police. 

Emmanuel Wimbledon said it was "appalled and saddened" by the allegations.

"We apologise to all those who have been affected," it said.


"We are offering them independent pastoral and counselling support, and we have been actively taking steps to identify others in need of such support. We are committed to taking further steps to do so, and to support anyone who comes forward.

"Whenever we have become aware of Jonathan Fletcher seeking to minister, and although it is not our formal responsibility to do so, we have taken such steps as we can to stop him."

In a statement to The Telegraph, Mr Fletcher denied the allegations but said that he had followed the orders of the bishop to discontinue preaching or public speaking.

"I totally reject and deny any allegations [made against me], although I don't know what the allegations are about," he said.

"I'm sure that in 30 years of being a reverend that I may have offended someone who has then turned against me. I knew anonymous allegations were made two or three years ago. And I was told police had been contacted. However, I have not been told of any subsequent allegations since."