ARISE church faces legal action, delays releasing review publicly

Logan Church
Source: 1News

The embattled ARISE Church said in a statement on Wednesday it’s facing legal action over an independent review.

It revealed that an "urgent non-publication order" was now in place over the review’s report, delaying its initially planned release.

The review, carried out by Pathfinding, was initiated after alleged serious misconduct inside the church, with more than 545 people engaged in the review process.

It came after former interns' alleged mistreatment, particularly within the church’s internship programme.

"I worked on [pastor] John Cameron's garden on several occasions, trimming his hedges, digging holes, seeding his grass and mowing his lawns, all while he was inside the house working on his Sunday message," one former member said.

READ MORE: ARISE interns allegedly told to work on pastors' garden

Other allegations around harassment, including of a sexual nature, have also been made and shared publicly.

1News has heard stories from dozens of former interns, volunteers, members, and workers, some complaints are recent, however, some come from years ago, in the early days of the church.

"I am, and on behalf of the board, deeply sorry for those that have experienced hurt,” board member Kylie Fletcher told 1News in an exclusive interview in May.

Two independent reviews were underway – the church said it would share the results publicly when complete.

It initially said the Pathfinding review would be released publicly on 29 June. It then delayed that "in order to ensure that what was presented in the final report was done so responsibly, within the principles of natural justice and remained within the bounds of the law".

In a statement, the ARISE board said it intended to release the review on Thursday, but it’s been delayed again due to the non-publication order.

"The ARISE Board strongly maintains its desire and intent to release the full Pathfinding report publicly and acknowledges that by doing so it honours those who have come forward to share their stories on the understanding that the results of the report were to be made publicly available."

"We thank our Church, wider community and key stakeholders for their continued patience while Arise responds to this legal action. The Board is unable to give a timeframe on the release of the Pathfinding report and is committed to upholding its privacy obligations and so cannot comment further on the matter for now."