An investigation into complaints made against Thanet’s Global Generation Church leaders Mike and Stella Andrea will be carried out by employment law and HR specialists Loch Associates.
Last month allegations of misconduct, coercion and abuse of power were made public by a woman who was a member of the church between the ages of 12 and 24, She says she was suicidal by the time she quit.
Her allegations consist of claims of coercion, unethical employment practices, gaining control with ‘love bombing’ through gifts and trips, verbal aggression, inappropriate comments and an alleged ‘exorcism’ incident.
The church also received allegations from other former members.
The claims related to church team leader Mike Andrea and wife Stella. Global Generation Church and organisation 24-7 Prayer, where Mr Andrea is CEO, have suspended the couple while the investigation takes place.
An update from Global Generation Church says they and 24-7 have approached a number of organisations and engaged with statutory and regulatory bodies such as the Charity Commission.
A statement from Glo Gen adds: “We have instructed Loch Associates first to implement an employer’s grievance investigation, independently of the employers, into the misconduct allegations and complaints by reference to the relevant employment contracts, including recommending any disciplinary steps for the charity to take as employers.
“After completing that initial investigation Loch Associates have also been instructed to provide a report to Global Generation Church (and 24-7 Prayer’s Board of Trustees) outlining Lessons Learned and detailing suggestions regarding policies, procedures, practices and culture that will help the relevant Board of Trustees make necessary improvements. Any complaints or grievances not the subject of the initial investigation will be taken into account at that time.”
Anyone who still wishes to make a complaint needs to send it marked for Laura, from Loch Associates, at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Monday 13th December. This needs to include a clear reference to timeframe and organisation/ people involved.
The statement adds: “Now that an appropriate independent expert has been sourced and appointed, we have asked Loch Associates to proceed diligently and thoroughly but with all due speed in order to minimise the ongoing impact of these matters on those affected.”
Global Generation Church has also commissioned an independent confidential helpline “to offer support to anyone who feels they have been harmed or impacted by the allegations relating to Mike and Stella Andrea.”
This is being run by independent Christian safeguarding specialists thirtyone:eight.
The safeguarding helpline is on 0303 003 1111. People are asked to quote ‘GC-21′ when they call.