Category: The Fellowship (Australia)

The Fellowship: Cult’s teachings deemed heretical

Bruce Teele The Presbyterian Church of Australia has declared heretical six principal teachings of a cult inside a Melbourne Presbyterian church, and ordered that the church’s findings against the cult be read at every Presbyterian congregation in Australia.

The declaration, to be released today, vindicates the church in its decade-long battle to expel the cult, headed by stockbroker Bruce Teele, that dominates Trinity Presbyterian Church, Camberwell.

Cult elders back in church fold

The elders of a secretive cult who were expelled from the Presbyterian Church last year have been reinstated by a special meeting of the church’s general assembly. But members of the Victorian assembly, which excommunicated the 15 elders of Trinity Camberwell, were not too downhearted, saying the Fellowship had won the battle but lost the war.

Breaking the Fellowship: a bitter-sweet crusade

An elitist cult has successfully operated as a church within a church – until now. As a young man, Grant Lawry was invited to join the Fellowship, the secretive cult centred at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Camberwell. He spent 15 years on the fringes — then the past decade trying to root them out of the Presbyterian Church. Last Sunday provided a bitter-sweet moment of vindication. Lawry, now minister at the Canterbury church, stood beside the clerk of Melbourne East Presbytery, Kevin Childs, while Childs read a notice excommunicating Trinity’s 15 elders, all members of the cult. “It’s been a

Elders sacked in church ‘cult’ purge

Congregation members at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Camberwell have been advised to dissociate themselves from a cult-like group to which most of them belong. They were told in church yesterday that their 15 elders — members of the secretive group within the Presbyterian Church known as the Fellowship — had been sacked for failing to carry out their duties. The Presbytery of Melbourne East, the group of regional church leaders responsible for member churches, also excommunicated the elders. The presbytery will now act as the church’s elders, but it seems the former elders are unlikely to leave. The few who

The Fellowship: Churchgoers warned to reject secretive group

Churchgoers were warned yesterday to reject a secretive group operating in their midst. The warning came after the excommunication of 15 elders of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Camberwell Victoria over their links to the Fellowship, a sect accused of wielding strong control over its followers. A statement read to the Trinity congregation by Presbytery of Melbourne East clerk Kevin Childs before yesterday morning’s service said the elders had been banished for their conduct as Fellowship members and their failure to address the situation. The statement said the presbytery of Melbourne East – which oversees the running of member churches –

Church excommunicates 15 for cult membership

The Presbyterian Church has excommunicated all 15 elders of one of its largest Melbourne congregations because of their conduct as members of a cult known as the Fellowship. At 2.15am on Thursday, the Presbytery of Melbourne East dismissed the session (group of elders) of Trinity, Camberwell, and removed them from membership of the Presbyterian Church in Australia. The Fellowship is a secretive cult operating inside the church, whose members usually deny it exists. Victims say it maintains strong control over members. A letter will be read to the Trinity congregation at the 10am service tomorrow explaining the action of the

The Fellowship, Inside Out

Summary: The Fellowship aims for spiritual perfection, but its critics say it’s distorting the Gospel. Program Transcript Investigated by the Presbyterian Church of Victoria in the late 1990s, it is now the subject of a book by journalist Morag Zwartz titled Fractured Families. Two former members speak of their experience with The Fellowship. CHOIR SINGING – When I Survey the Wondrous Cross Rachael Kohn: Is it possible to live free of sin? And is that the purpose of being Christian? Hello, I’m Rachael Kohn, and this is The Spirit of Things on ABC Radio National. Christian history is full of

Fractured Families: The story of a Melbourne cult

Fractured Families: The Story of a Melbourne Cult, By Morag Zwartz, Parenesis Publishing, $19.95 In the public imagination, cults are usually associated with the wacky and the surreal: fortified compounds in isolated locales, flying saucers, suicide pacts, children with dyed blond hair or leaders commanding sex from vulnerable followers. Thus, the idea of a cult emerging in the moneyed, eternally verdant suburbs of Balwyn, Canterbury, Kew and Camberwell seems absurd. Even more so when the members are successful doctors, lawyers, stockbrokers and ordinary church folk. And yet, as Fractured Families reveals, cults can take root in and among the most