URGENT Petition to prevent Bishop Michael Reid and Dr Ruth Reid being evicted from their home by the Peniel Church, Brentwood Organised by James & Gabriella Jandu Email: email@example.com
Sign online: Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details or print and fill this petition
Please respond before 10th August 2010 (This date may be extended)
“In over 40 years of ministry this is the greatest case of injustice I have ever seen done to a man of God! I will not rest until justice is met.” Apostle A.T.B. Williams, Christ Faith Tabernacle, London
“We have documented evidence that the Peniel Pentecostal Church had discussed with solicitors and the trustees to provide the Reid’s with life time occupancy of Testimony House. All involved are fully aware of this. They are now illegally reversing the contractual agreement made. This is not Christianity, this is a vicious act of revenge and malice” James Peter Jandu
“it was stated in the statement that ‘Meidre tried to point out that the adultery had given people the opportunity to vent their own personal offences about the way in which MSBR dealt with them over the years’. This confirmed what had been suspected all along, that the dismissal of the Claimant was purely opportunistic and that the real reason or the principal reason for the dismissal was not because of the misconduct of adultery.” Employment Tribunal, Closing Submission of Claimant
“1n 1992, Archbishop Benson Idahosa came to the Church and pledged that the congregation needs to be grateful for this great work done by Bishop and Dr Ruth Reid by contributing enough money to BUY their own home. That Night, enough money was raised to buy the Testimony House from which they are now being evicted. When the money was raised, it was given to the Bishop and Ruth to Buy their home, but they refused to be selfish and requested the money to put in the Church's purse. When the house was purchased, they were promised that they could live in it forever, even outside ministerial engagements. I know because I was there. I ALSO GAVE A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF MONEY TOWARDS THE HOUSE THAT NIGHT.” Ayo Ademakinwa
What you are about to read may shock you. I hope it shocks you into action like it did us. Since we came to know about the situation with Bishop Reid and the church he founded we have been deeply moved to assist in any way to support him in his fight to see that justice is met. The fight started months before we arrived but as more and more people are discovering what is happening they too are joining in to rally around the Reid’s. 1
The Reid’s were assured by the Peniel Church leaders and trustees that they would be provided with place to live for the rest of the lives. Since 2008 the church has sought to evict them after harshly dismissing them as employees. The very people they trusted and helped have turned on them in their old age. Having given millions of pounds from their personal resources to establish the ministry and purchase property, this is the payback. These two pensioners have been left with little income and are living off depleting savings. To explain the situation, a very brief outline is provided below. Please read to the end and sign the petition either online or download a hardcopy and get others to sign it.
1. Introduction: Bishop Michael Reid and Dr Ruth Reid founded a ministry that spanned three decades that included: • • •
Peniel Pentecostal Church – World famous 800+ member church Peniel College of Higher Education - The largest charismatic Bible College in the UK Peniel Academy - a top three school in the UK for GCSE and A’ Levels and in whose chosen sport, table tennis, they won six out of eight age group trophies 6 years in a row, once winning all eight age group Global Gospel Fellowship (GGF)- a global network of hundreds of miracle ministries …and then… he was set-up and robbed!
Early on in his ministry God spoke to Bishop Reid, “Give all you have and I will provide” This he has practiced. It was never his desire to enrich himself from the ministry as many other ministers have, some whom he knew personally and confronted.
a. Peniel Church started by personal funds The Church pastored by the Reid’s was started on 14th November 1976 with three members. It was funded from their own financial resources. In 1979, they relocated and they continued to fund the church from their own financial resources, later moving again to Bell House in 1981.
b. Personal honorariums gifted to the church Bishop Reid has preached all over the world. Whenever he received a financial gift from any church he would give the gift to his church, although it was personally given to him. At times he was given up to £10,000! This would amount to many hundreds of thousands of pounds over 32 years! Do you know any preachers that would do that?
c. Donations to the church When Bishop Reid used to run his own business, he donated the profits which were £160,000 - £220,000 net per year to the church for 6-7 years. That equates to between £960,000 £1,540,000 over that period of time. Dr Ruth Reid was once given £12,000 in a will. She gave the whole amount to the church.
Another time Dr Ruth Reid’s sister Francis Macartney wanted to give them her house in her will. Bishop Reid told her to give it to the church. The house was worth £185,000. The Reid’s have not taken an official holiday in 32 years of Pastoring the Peniel Pentecostal Church. Although they travelled around the world preaching, I can assure you it is not easy. Many have travelled with him, much younger individuals, and they wonder how on earth he manages to work so hard when travelling abroad to preach. After all this and 32 years of dedicated service they are left with a church pension of £2,400 each and then for anyone to then say they milked the church is absolutely ridiculous. The Reid’s gave all. They expected that the church would take care of them in old age. In fact this was agreed and I have copies of documents and letters where this is discussed with solicitors. They never expected to be left with just £2,400 pension each – £46.15 each per week, while Peter Linnecar, the new Pastor, is paid £1,923.07 per week and whatever else his wife is paid on top! Peter Linnecar told the Reid’s they would receive a pension of £45k.
d. Bell House - Robbed of £800,000! In 1981 the Reid’s sold their own family home in Greenwalk, Ongar in Essex and invested the resources towards the purchase the Bell House and the Market Garden land (later used to build the church on). The Reid’s owned a two thirds legal and equitable interest to the title of the Bell House property. Peter and Carolyn Linnecar owned one third. The initial purchase price was £175,000 and they invested £40,000 from the £48,000 they received from the sale of their home.
“when we brought Peniel Church we sold our home and everything to help buy it. An old lady Jackie Wynands also sold her property gave us the £40,000 as a personal gift which we put into church property after we had bought it. We agreed she could live in Bell House for the rest of her life” Bishop Michael Reid, What God Can Do Ministries,- Interview May 2010
Peter and Caroline sold their home with an £8,000 to £10,000 profit and invested that into the purchase of Bell House church property. As this was minimal they received one third of ownership. They really should have only received a quarter or less ownership. The remainder of the required funds was donated by church members. The Reid’s carried out major renovations that cost thousands of pounds which was paid for from their own resources. This 10 bedroom residential accommodation with a swimming pool was valued at £1.2 million which equates to Bishop Reid’s interest valued at £800,000. During 2003 Peter Linnecar had financial difficulties running to up to £670,000. This rose from loans that included unsecured credit card loans of £200,00 which infuriated Carolyn Linnecar as she was unaware her husband had built up these debts. The lenders were intending to foreclose which would have affected the entire interest in 49 Coxtie Green House, Brentwood – the church property. Peter Linnecar had put the church in an awkward position. In order to salvage the situation the Reid’s in good faith agreed to transfer the two thirds (£800,000) of their interest in this property to the Linnecars with the understanding that they 3
would continue to maintain and hold unconditional life, unencumbered, legal and equitable interest in Testimony House and this was agreed and signed by members of the Board of Trustees of the ministry forming a quorum. The Reid’s specifically asked for this to be done because they were signing over £800,000, in good faith, which was genuinely a part of their investment for their future. Also under the terms of transfer, the Linnecars were supposed to transfer one third of their legal interest in the Stable Block to the Reid’s. Dr Ruth Reid cried for two days and along with her husband they were very reluctant to make the transfer, but they felt bullied and intimidated into it.
“…you also asked me on the telephone for details of the transfer of your and Ruth’s interest in the Bell House to the Linnecars. That was completed on 6th December 2004 and I am, as requested, enclosing a copy of the relevant Deed” Peter A. Bostock, Curry & Co, Letter to Bishop Michael Reid, dated 13th May 2008.
“…they persuaded me and the trustees guaranteed that Ruth and I live here [Testimony House] for the rest of life and if something happened to me she could stay on and if it was necessary for her to move they would buy an equivalent property somewhere else so she was provided for, so on that basis I signed that document to help Peter Linnecar out of debt” Bishop Michael Reid, What God Can Do Ministries,- Interview May 2010
The solicitor’s letter quoted above went on to mention that Peter Linnecar instructed him not to transfer the one third of the Stable Block till a latter date. The Linnecar’s have never transferred the one third of the Stable Block and they have sold the Bell House to the Church.
“We need to sort this out ASAP. They have not actually set the value to 0. They have said that once the subsidence is fixed the property [Bell House] will be worth £750,000. We just need to have an idea of what this will take. …Peter and Carolyne in good faith went ahead with buying a new house on the understanding that we [Peniel Church] would purchase this property….” Matthew Reid, Former Trustee, Peniel Church, Email 06/12/2007
Bishop Reid basically had over £800,000 stolen from him. The initial agreement had an additional understanding that they would continue to maintain and hold on an unconditional life legal and equitable interest in Testimony House and this was agreed and signed by the members of the Board of Trustees of the ministry forming a quorum. Now Peter is behind efforts to evict the Reid’s from Testimony House making this couple in their 60’s homeless in the UK with little income. Part of the agreement also included Bishop Reid and Dr. Reid become shareholders.
“I would like to ask if you would be prepared to be a shareholder of the new company…I have set out a complete list of the shareholders and directors that are being proposed. While it is the responsibility of the directors to run the company, legally they report to the shareholders and it the shareholders who have ultimate control over the appointment and removal of directors” Dictated to Rachel Whealy, email dated 06/09/04
For some strange reasons this was not completed. Had it been done it would have meant the Reid’s could have dismissed the board! Now who would want them to not be able to do that? The interesting thing is that the solicitor that acted for both Peter Linnecar and Bishop Reid was a personal friend of Peter Linnecar and they both went to Cambridge. Does not take long to workout what was done. A solicitor is not permitted to represent both parties in order to prevent anything underhand taking place. Andrew Love was the Financial director and both he and Peter Linnecar resigned as trustees during 2002 as they were going to sell Bell House to the church and so could no longer be trustees. Peter and Carolyn resided in Bell House for a number of years. They built offices for the business in the house and Carolyne signed bankers drafts to pay all the utility bills from the church funds! Someone was living in the lap of luxury at the expense of the church! Peter soon ran into serious financial trouble, as his manner was.
“Richard Cope mentioned Bell House and the fact there may pressure from the bank for Carolyn and Peter Linnecar to sell this year, or face repossession…It was agreed that members of the rest of the Board would approach them with the view to a negotiation and a possible purchase. Bishop Reid expressed his reluctance for the church to take on debt. He also felt too personally attached to be involved in negotiations and asked to be left out of it” Minutes of meeting, Michael Reid Ministries AGM, Saturday 14th April 2007
e. Church property paid for by the Reid’s personal funds The church property at 49 Coxtie Green Road became known globally as the Peniel Pentecostal Church. The large black building was built and cost £60,000. By 1994 the Reid’s paid in full the £60,000 mortgage for the main church building from their personal resource’s and then gifted the building to the church. Today that property is worth millions. Had he not been so generous he could have been a millionaire twice over.
Peniel Church – Formerly Peniel Pentecostal Church. Owned and paid for by the Reid’s who later gifted it to the church.
f. Peniel Academy In Nov 1981 they founded the Peniel Academy and acquired a building by way of a mortgage of £160,000 under their own name which they paid up from their own resources. Dr Reid also donated all of the £12,000 inheritance from her father to help buy Brizes Park in 1998. In January 1982 the Peniel Academy was started in the Stable Block attached to Bell House. A black barn like building was erected by May 1992 for both the church and the school. The Reid’s took on the mortgage for £60,000 that was needed to build it. Church members gave their time and expertise to help with the interior finishing.
Brizes Park - 76 acres of land. The Peniel Academy was one of the top three schools in the UK for exam results.
Peniel Academy – School entrance
g. The Bible College Classroom and block The Reid’s owned this part of the property and sold it to the church for £200,000 and were paid only £90,000.
“The prices of £200,000 compares with a market value of £377,000 in 1992 and the transfer will, therefore, include a substantial element of gift” Peter Bostock, Currey & Co, original letter dated 23rd November 1994
In other words they should have been paid over £377,000, they accepted £200,000 gifting the rest to the church and were only paid £90,0000.
h. Stable Block This property that was and is still being used as the churches main office block (FREE OF CHARGE) belongs two third to Bishop Reid. Peter Linnecar was supposed to sign over the other third over to Bishop Reid. In documents we have he agrees to this. He never did.
“ it was also agreed that the other 3rd of the office block would be signed to me, and that was agreed, now what happened was Peter Bostock, mine and Peter Linnacre solicitor, got me to sign the papers but the transfer of the 1/3 office stable blocks was not transferred. So he had a duty of care, now he never told me he had not made the 1/3 over to me I only found out later by letter. Peter and Caroline went to talk to him and said they would do it but a bit later and he has since signed the 1/3 over to the church. He walked away with the church having signed the property over so he could get a mortgage, he 7
guaranteed the both of us that he would not sell the property and that it would be left in his will for the church. This is what we had always agreed, but he went afterwards to the trustees without my knowledge and told them he couldn’t afford to pay the mortgage and got the trustees to agree. You’ll find in some of the minutes I totally opposed the church paying his debt and his debts were there for all to see” Bishop Michael Reid, What God Can Do Ministries,- Interview May 2010
The paper work was processed by Peter Bostock. Later you will discover who this individual was and his relationship with Peter Linnecar.
“You asked me about the ownership of the former Stable Block at 49 Coxtie Green Road and I confirm that his is still registered as belonging to you, Ruth, Peter and Carolyn. I am enclosing a copy of the Land Registry title plan, which shows the extent of the property…..You and Ruth are entitled to two-thirds of the property and the Linnecars are entitled to one-third. There was some discussion about Peter and Carolyn giving you their one-third share in late 2004 but that could not be dealt with at the same time as the transfer of your and Ruth’s interests in the Bell House to Peter and Carolyn…and it was agreed that it should be dealt with later. Peter subsequently told me that the ownership should be left as it was for the time being…you also asked me on the telephone for details of the transfer of your and Ruth’s interest in the Bell House to the Linnecars. That was completed on 6th December 2004 and I am, as requested, enclosing a copy of the relevant Deed” Peter A. Bostock, Curry & Co, Letter to Bishop Michael Reid, dated 13th May 2008.
The property is worth between £200,000 - £300,000. Bishop Reid owns the two main entrance gates to the church and he could cause them difficulties if he wanted to. To date he has not and has permitted them to use it without causing any disturbance.
2. Testimony House a. How and why it was purchased Testimony House was purchased for Bishop Michael and Dr Ruth Reid during 1993. The owner decided to sell and came to ask Bishop Reid if they would like to purchase the house. He went on to explain that a house was up for sale near the church with direct access from the front and rear to the church. Bishop Reid came to view the property and immediately decided he would purchase it. One week later while Arch-Bishop Benson Idahosa was in the UK he came to know about the property and enquired the purchase price. His responded by saying, “I’ll
raise the money for you. You and your wife shouldn’t be living on site, you need your own home!” He then raised the funds during a service at Peniel Pentecostal Church explaining first to the people that they should purchase Bishop Michael Reid and Dr Reid their own home. The 8
congregation showed their approval by £285,000 in one night! The legal fees were paid for and the remainder used to purchase the home. Bishop Reid, however, did not want to put the home in his name, even though he could have. Being a genuine man of God who did not preach to gain material goods he insisted that the new home be registered in the name of the church. Few would have done such an act of integrity.
“…the house was bought for us to live in the rest of our lives but the Arch bishop when he left wanted it in my name but I put it in the churches name as I wasn’t looking to enrich myself and I never did. Maybe unwisely now it seems, but that’s the way it was” Bishop Michael Reid, What God Can Do Ministries,- Interview May 2010
Eviction from Testimony House One of the most distressing actions the Peniel Church took was to threaten the Reid’s with eviction from their home – Testimony House. Bishop Reid and his wife had no income from employment and no money to purchase another house. The cruelty of this action was beyond belief.
“…the trustees guaranteed that Ruth and I live here [Testimony House] for the rest of life and if something happened to me she could stay on and if it was necessary for her to move they would buy an equivalent property somewhere else so she was provided for, so on that basis I signed that document to help Peter Linnecar out of debt” Bishop Michael Reid, What God Can Do Ministries,- Interview May 2010
We have documented evidence that the Peniel Pentecostal Church had discussed with solicitors and the trustees to provide the Reid’s with life time occupancy of Testimony House, which was specially purchased for them and which the Reid’s chose to register the deeds in the name of the church and not their own.
“Kevin Lee explained the License drafted by the lawyer which gives Bishop Reid and Mrs Reid a license to occupy Testimony House for the rest of their lives. All the directors were in agreement that this was the least the charity could do for the Bishop and Mrs Reid, and were happy with the idea. Jennie.Whealy to forward License to David Attar, John Adebanjo, Richard Cope, John Shelton and Meidre Clemenson for them to check. It was agreed that Kevin Lee could sign on behalf of the trustees…” Minutes of meeting, Michael Reid Ministries AGM, Saturday 14th April 2007
It is clear from all the documents in our possession that the Reid’s were given Testimony House as their life long residence. The Peniel Church have lied and now claim that there was no such agreement. Documents that would have proved the Reid’s have life time occupancy are mysteriously difficult to locate. In a letter from the Peniel Church solicitiors they stated that the Reid’s ‘submitted no evidential basis for a claim by which our client has a beneficial interest in Testimony House.’ 9
The Reid’s had lived at Testimony House since 1992. It was always with the understanding that should their active ministry with Peniel Church ever cease they would still be able to live there or be provided with similar accommodation. The board and trustees are more than aware of this. This was completed legally in writing. There is documentation that this agreement was planned. The verbal and documented agreement is binding in terms of fairness.
“License to Occupy: Bishop Reid, Mrs Reid and Rachel Whealy left the room in order to allow the Board to discuss the above issues. The Board was in full agreement that security of tenancy must be provided to Bishop and Mrs Reid. Advice has been sought and a report from Stone King is available” Directors meeting notes, 07/02/07, Email from Meidre Cleminson
She ends the email by saying:
“Herewith ends the notes!! Hope it is clear enough.” Meidre Cleminson , Email dated 07/02/07
It is clear has daylight! In fact it was daylight robbery! If it was reasonable then to want to give them security for their future then, why is it not reasonable now? In a letter dated 23rd April 2010 the solicitors mention the licence agreement to occupy the house. They were asked to provide a copy of the licence. If they do not have copy of a licence, which licence do they refer to? Where are the original documents that state the Reid’s have live time occupancy? In a letter dated 08/12/06 they themselves state, ‘The License will be enforceable as a contract against the Charity whether the individual Trustees change, or not.’ It would be great to see the relevant documents so we can enforce them. In their letter dated 23rd April 2010 they mention that the Peniel Church ‘has a legal obligation to ensure vacant possession of the house as continued rent free occupation of the house by former employees of the Charity is entirely contrary to the Church’s charitable objects.’ To the contrary, the Peniel Church has no legal obligation as stated above but can legally proceed as they choose, that is according to their governing documents. The Peniel Church has a legal obligation to follow their governing document in use at the time the Reid took residence and the governing documents they use now. The governing documents state: 4. (1) (ii) to support any Minister or Ministers and full and part time Christian workers in any churches established and maintained by the Charity or in ANY SIMILAR CHURCH and any other Christian missionaries, evangelists or youth workers. 4. (1) (v) to establish and maintain accommodation for persons in necessitious circumstances. 10
1. (1) (xxii) to do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the achievements of the objects. In a letter dated 08/12/06 you state, ‘The License will be enforceable as a contract against the Charity whether the individual Trustees change, or not.’ The Peniel Church stated that free occupation of the house by former employees of the Charity is entirely contrary to the Church’s charitable objects. They provided no evidience for this. The purposes of the Penial Church and the former Michael Reid Ministries are of a similar nature to the purposes of Bishop Reid’s present ministry, ‘What God Can Do Ministries.’ They are within their purposes to allow him to remain in Testimony House, as a founder of the work.
“At last week's employment tribunal it was revealed Michael Reid and his wife, the Rev Ruth Reid, are still living on church property and that an eviction could ensue. However,Anne [Brown] explained that the church trustees are still discussing what action to take.” Brentwood Gazette, Wednesday March 3rd 2010
What the Peniel Church fail to mention is that the building they use as their main office is owned by Bishop Michael Reid. He has never issued them an eviction notice nor asked them to pay rent. The Peniel Church has repeatedly posted Bishop Reid threatening eviction notices and made rip-off offers to purchase the Stable Block owned by Bishop Reid. When Bishop Reid refuses these offers the Peniel Church report that Bishop Reid is rejecting the offers they are making. Would you sell a property worth hundreds of thousands for £130,000? In the Peniel Churches letter from their solicitor dated 23rd April 2010 they state that their client can only legally pay £40,000. The Peniel Church initially offered to give the Reid’s approx £370,000. They then reduced this by approx 90%! They supplied no evidence that this was the legal amount. It seems to be based only on their personal opinion and not a legal limitation. It was understood that church maybe experiencing some financial downturns and so Bishop Reid was willing to accept a settlement that includes the signing over of property. In all fairness, Bishop Reid has signed over numerous times property that was in his name over to the church. Considering also his 32 years of investment into the charity it is not unreasonable that the Reid’s be awarded a more substantial settlement that includes a permanent residence.
3. Not a shred of evidence! One of the most telling things the Peniel Church did was to shred evidence in the office. Whenever paperwork was requested that would damn them it was lost or unavailable for various reasons. The paper trial often went conveniently cold.
Bishop Reid’s daughter, Rachel, worked in the Peniel Church office in the accounts department. She was forced into redundancy, though she continued to work there long enough to discover that documents were being shredded. These documents may have included licences that would have shown that Bishop Reid and Dr. Reid could stay at Testimony House for their lifetime. At the time of this writing they were facing harsh eviction which has brought a great deal of emotional stress.
4. Threats of violence Two days before they were returning to the UK from Tulsa, Tom Mathew came to see Bishop Reid. He was the Dean of Graduate Theology at Oral Roberts University and told Bishop Reid,
“I’m worried about your safety as Matthew Reid had phoned me and said that the people in the church would attack you with iron bars and burn your car and smash all the windows in your house if you came back.” “We agree that the board had received threats and that this had been passed to Dr Matthews” Peniel Church Tustees, Letter to Dr Ruth Reid, 28th November 2008
As soon as Bishop Reid arrived back in the UK from Tulsa, USA John Adabanjo, a trustee at the Peniel Church and 2nd to Richard Branson for Virgin in Nigeria, met him at the airport and took him into the Virgin lounge to advise him to return back to the USA as there had been threats that he would be attacked physically, have his windows smashed and his car set on fire. You can imagine life at home. Never knowing who was going to come to the door or when these threats would be carried out. Hate mail and letters from solicitors were being delivered on a regular basis. What malice, hatred and cowardly acts towards a couple in their 60’s whose health was affected by these events.
5. Hostile stake out! Bishop Reid commenced Bible study meetings in his home. Members from Peniel Church would stand outside his home on a Sunday and take photographs of those supporting the Reids. Photos of cars and their owners were taken in an attempt to intimidate them. Occasionally they would hide in bushes outside the home and take the photos. The culprits were Kevin Lee and Rob Cleminson, son of Meidre Cleminson.
“During 29th June 2008, Kevin Lee and I were on church security duty, which means we were based in the Peniel Church car park. At about 10.30am we walked to Testimony House…and stood outside next to the lamppost….Michael Reid then went on to ask what we were doing to which Kevin replied that we were enjoying the sunshine on the pavement” Rob Cleminson Statement
One is forced to ask, “What reason did they have to come outside Testimony House?”
Even after they were confronted outside the home that they did not cease their attempts to intimidate those that supported the Reid’s. The confrontation became heated before the members from Peniel walked away.
“They were standing on the pavement. I said to Kevin, ‘What are you doing here, intimidating people who are coming to my home?’ Robbie was 4ft away and Kevin came up to me and stated, ‘I’ve every right to stand here. What are you going to do, hit me.’ I said, ‘Stop harassing me and my family, clear off.’ He came to within a foot of me, in a menacing manner. He said, ‘Go on, move me.’ I found his attitude menacing and mocking.” Bishop Michael Reid, Witness Statement, 02/07/08
As you can Kevin Lee was flexing his muscles to an old age pensioner. I wonder if he would have done the same if it was someone younger and well built? I also wonder if he is any relation to Bruce Lee? Once again the police were notified but the culprits lied and denied they had done anything wrong.
6. Hate mail Dr Ruth visited the church on Friday 2nd May 2008. She was not even acknowledged during her visit to the church. The day following Dr. Ruth’s visit to the church with Evangelist Billy Burke, after the news had broken out, hate mail started pouring in at the Reid’s residence. Having looked at the mail I estimate that the hate mail originated from 100+ members of the church.
“The ban on me going onto the church property and threat of my removal was read out by John Shelton just before we got back from the USA. It opened the door for this violence and hatred in increase for which the board are responsible” Bishop Michael Reid and Dr Ruth Reid, Email dated 19th May 2008 addressed to Kevin Lee and trustees (The ban on coming on church property would have meant that Bishop and Dr Reid could not worship with their family, two children and five grandchildren still at the church at the time. Neither were they allowed to collect their grandchildren from the school. This particularly distressed Dr Ruth Reid.)
They attempted to complain to the church but no significant action was taken. They then reported it to the Police (Crime Reference Number: D321D/15302/08). The Police spoke to the church leaders and it was only then the hate mail ceased. The original hate mail has been kept on file. The initial allegations were investigated by Inspector Paul Thompson. One Police officer that came to visit the Reid’s rudely stated that if they were so upset by the situation they should sell up and move out. He also said that Dr Reid should go to the bottom of the garden and scream at the trees to vent her anger. This was reported and the Police officer was dealt with by his superiors. This, however, led to further threatening behaviour towards the Reid’s from other police officers.
Calls were made to Kevin Lee to complain about the hate mail but he refused to come and discuss the matter. Peter Linnecar refused to deal with the matter. At first the church denied that anyone from the church had sent hate mail. They later changed their position and agreed that maybe some members of the church had been responsible. The stack of hate mail proved otherwise and it was clear that more than one or two were responsible. The Reid’s had no other choice but to go to the police. After a visit by the police Peter Linnecar mentioned briefly to the congregation that they were not to send hate mail to anyone. Later that afternoon at around 2pm Kevin Lee turned up at Bishop Reid’s home with a brown envelope addressed to Dr Ruth Reid. When Bishop Reid attempted to talk with him, Kevin would not cease speaking rudely and then he stormed off. The letter he had delivered contained an apology to Dr Ruth Reid for the hate mail. Shockingly the letter contained no apology to Bishop Michael Reid. The hate mail continued to arrive. The letters were taken to the police who were appalled. Finger prints were taken from the letters. Soon after the police spoke with Peter Linnecar and Kevin Lee and made it plain to them that it was a criminal offence. Again, Peter Linnecar made passing remarks to the congregation about the behaviour of some in the congregation. The Peniel Church wrote a letter dated 4th May 2008:
Dear Ruth, I want to take this opportunity to write this short note on behalf of the pastors and trustees [most of whom have now left]. This is in light of the letters you received yesterday evening. We have read copies of the letters and given the hurtful tone, we completely understand that this will have caused you considerable pain. Therefore we felt it important to let you know that we feel this is in no way representative of the majority of the church. Moreover the pastors and trustees are united in denouncing the actions of the individuals who sent these hurtful letters. We love you, we are for you and will stand in defence of all innocent parties. Love, from all trustees and pastors. Kevin Lee This is the same Kevin Lee that a short time after was staking out the home of the Reid’s and with others taking photographs of people and cars visit the Reid’s for Bible Study! Also this is the church that claims to love the Reid’s and claimed they would sponsor his mission trips. They also banned them from coming on the property, part of which legally belongs to them! After attempts to resolve the issue with the church hate mail still continued to arrive.
“I was very sorry to hear from PC Andy Ennis that you have again received letters of a distasteful and threatening nature” Kevin Lee, Email to Bishop Reid and Dr Reid, 19th May 2008, 18.00pm
The Reids had a genuine concern for their safety. The Police did not respond in a manner acceptable to the Reid’s. The response of the church was to arrange for a large number of people to complain to the Police that Bishop Reid has been harassing them by sending letters. The letters he sent are available for all to see and they contain nothing but kind words. The complaints made against him were only made to distract and mislead the Police into thinking the problem was Bishop Michael Reid. An officer then came alone to the home of Bishop Reid to get him to sign a caution for sending harassing letters to the Peniel Church members. The officer was extremely rude and Bishop Reid asked him to leave. Mrs Reid then received a letter from Samantha Jarvis dated 18th September 2008, stating that she could not meet with the Reid’s while the investigation was still being carried out and that once all complaints by all parties have been assessed/investigated they would be contacted and updated. They have heard nothing since. This is totally unacceptable. At the time a Police officer visited the Reid’s and was extremely rude. Not long after Bishop Reid was falsely and aggressively arrested on historical rape allegations. I was reluctant to quote the hate mail sent but finally decided that I would quote a few of them. They shoot themselves in the foot by writing these childish letters, so childish that I have had to correct some spelling, grammer and sentence structure. Pea brain ignoramuses! Some forgot to sign their name so I did it for them. Those with stars are mine…excuse the humour…
“Get real [they] don’t want you back. [They] have a new Pastor now and he will not share the pulpit with either of you….You have lived of the backs of saints long enough now [and] it’s time for you AND your family to GO” From An Onlooker
“What on earth [Ruth] do you think you are doing coming back to Peniel Church? We know your tactics. You think a Ruth Reid smile and a bit of back rubbing will get you recruits to your cause. Don’t shame yourself again by creeping into the church and hoping a few kind people will lose sight of what you have been [and] will give you a hug. From a family that worships God and not man and a family that has dedicated it’s services voluntarily for years to Peniel Church” From a joyful Christian*
“You’re just as greedy as he is [Peter Linnecar]. Go back to Tulsa. But don’t darken our church [Peniel] again literally. We have let the light in and we don’t want your darkness back again” From the light of the world *
“…you are just testing the waters by coming into the church to see if a lot of people want you and him back. Well, we do not. Don’t come back. Ever” A Christian wife and mother
“To Mrs Reid, God’s church at Peniel is free now….SO DO NOT COME BACK TO THE CHURCH. YOU REMIND US OF MICHAEL REID MISERIES” 15
Sent from 43 long standing Peniel church members
“Dear Mrs Ruth Reid, You should keep away from the church. I’m sorry to be so harsh but you are as bad as him. Who do you think you are coming into Peniel?” This is from three generations of a Peniel family
As you can see Peniel Church is now full of wonderful loving Christians! Notice how the ‘Christian’ cowards sent the mail anonymously. I wonder which church they attend?
“We are happy… but if they called themselves a church then they are far from what the Bible describes. I pray they find the truth and may their anger and bitterness not destroy them nor the hundreds of innocent people caught up in this saga.” Orville Thomas, Former member of Peniel Pentecostal Church
The viciousness that stems from bitterness is evident to all. Bishop Reid had been left with the impression that he would be restored as Pastors. Infact even his direct enemies were leaving comments on forums like:
“…there will be a number of members [of Peniel] who will support any attempt Reid makes to regain his position…” Nigel Davies, Reachout Trust.org, Tuesday April 15th 2008
This is from the mouth of a major ‘enemy’ of Bishop Reid. Those who say Bishop Reid had no supporters are liars. Also, a good number of people told Bishop Reid they did not want him to leave. Yet the church misled many and had other plans. In fact there were factions as various people attempted to take control.
7. Attempts to prevent house meetings As soon as he was able Bishop Reid commenced Bible meetings in his home. Attempts were made to prevent Bishop Reid hosting these church meetings in his home. In a letter from Peniel Churches solicitor to Bishop Reid’s solicitor they write:
“Please explain why your client believes that it is appropriate to run a competitive venture…” 26th September 2008, Wrightway Solicitors, London
Note the phrase ‘competitive venture.’ Do they consider other churches in Brentwood competitive ventures? What is it they fear? If they fear nothing, why make these comments? The letter is becomes stranger and more desperate when it says:
“Your client’s statement that he does not wish to harm the church appears to be entirely misleading. We note that your client seeks to raise money via his new website and as such it is entirely reasonable to conclude that he is making wilful attempts to divert church members from Peniel to his new venture” 26th September 2008, Wrightway Solicitors, London
The above statement is shocking. Bishop Reid is not permitted to accept donations via his website, and if he does it is ‘entirely reasonable to conclude that he is making wilful attempts to divert members from Peniel to his new venture’? Now that’s ludicrous! The Brentwood Gazette reported:
“Council planning officers were TIPPED OFF by a member of the public that the property was being used as a place of worship – a change of building use which would require planning permission” Brentwood Gazette, thisistotalessex.co.uk , Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Now, does anyone suspect like me that ‘a’ member or two from Peniel Church may have been the anonymous tipper? Maybe we need Sherlock Holmes to get involved in this complicated case to confirm my suspicions? Then again, we could ask Lieutenant Columbo for his opinion. The newspaper went onto report:
“No action will be taken by council planners over reports the home of Bishop Michael Reid is being used as a place of worship….a council spokeswoman said: "A Bible study group meets each Sunday at this address. Based on the investigation, it is not currently considered to be a material change of use of the premises at 53 Coxtie Green Road due to the current nature and scale of the meetings.” The case will now be closed” Brentwood Gazette, thisistotalessex.co.uk , Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Why would anyone want to do this? Fear, hatred and malice are always motivating factors when people behave in such manner. Petty! So petty! Desperate times require desperate measures. Kids will be kids.
8. Financial position of the Reid’s “Bishop Reid will receive £45,000 pension from the church” The congregation was told that Bishop Reid would receive a £45,000 pension. Peter Linnecar personally told the Reid’s this to there face. The truth is they are receiving a church pension of only £2,400 p.a. each after founding and serving the church tirelessly for 32 years. Carolyn Linnecars own statement proves this issue was discussed.
“Peter said he would check but thought the funds would produce approximately £45K pa.” Carolyn Linnecar statement, Dialogue occurred 21st March 2008
Peter Linnecar was responsible for setting up the pension fund and he paid everyone else’s pension contributions throughout the years, including his own, but had neglected to pay anything into Bishop Reid’s and Dr Reid’s church pension. Was this oversight intentional? You be the judge! Bishop Michael Reid would travel the world preaching and he left the duties of the church to people he mistakenly trusted. His trust was paid back harshly in his old age.
They have no income, a very small government, business and church pension and limited savings. The financial position they have been left by the Peniel Church is nothing short of pure undiluted evil.
9. Ill health The Reid’s, both pensioners, suffered illness as a result. Medical certificates dated 7th April 2008 and 30th may 2008 were sent to the church. Dr Ruth Reid had to be placed on a heart monitor for palpitations due to stress.
“I am physically and mentally exhausted and I have been unable to organise a colleague to come with [help] me…I genuinely do not think I can cope mentally or emotionally…” Bishop Michael Reid, Letter to Trustees of Peniel Church, 05/05/08
“…Dr Reid is the softer side and when I heard that they were doing that and heard that she had heart trouble because of all the pressure and everything. Put it this way if your not a Christian that’s screwed up and fed up to do that to anybody by a long stretch and talking on religious terms that’s devilish not of God to treat people or talk to people like that. You would have thought looking at this situation even unsaved person would’ve looked at this and said ok we’ll go separate ways but out of decency you can have the house and look after them financially speaking” Julian Fagan, Former member Peniel Pentecostal Church and Peniel Church Interview 3rd May 2010
The church was fully aware and acknowledged that the Reid’s were suffering ill health.
“…you are currently signed of sick, and it is important you regain your health. During your time of sickness…” Kevin Lee, Email dated 16/o4/2008 to Bishop Michael Reid.
Even though they knew they were unwell they continued their harsh treatment in their attempts to traumatise them. This same Kevin Lee who wrote the above email stood outside the Reid’s home a few weeks later and threatened Bishop Reid with violence. He had no legitimate reason to be there.
Conclusion I hope it is clear to you now the injustice that has taken place. A man that set up a successful, globally ministry was robbed. If certain individuals were so disappointed and saddened by the ministry why did they not just go and start another church and give the founder his work back? Could it have anything to do with £12 million worth of property and £2.6 million income? They chose to take advantage of a legal loop hole and steal another mans work and then claim it is their own.
An attempt was made for a group of ministers to meet with the Peniel Church. They included Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo (KICC); Bishop John Francis (Ruach Ministries); Bishop Mark Nicholson (EICOG); Pastor Kingsley Appiajei (TBC); Pastor Lola Oyebade (HOTRIC). The letter sent to the church did not receive a response. Bishop and Mrs Reid have given 32 years of their lives to the church and waved all their rights to own property in the church with the understanding, as was promised by the board of trustees, that they would have a lifetime interest in the property that Archbishop Idahosa collected money for and has been their home for over 19 years. To try to rob them of this is cruel. Help us to bring a positive result to this horrendous situation. Any help you give is sincerely appreciated. If you are able to assist in ANY other way please contact us as a matter of urgency. Your help is urgently needed. Simply writing letters can have a major effect. Please kindly take time to write a letter of disapproval to: (a) Brentwood Gazette: Westway Chelmsford, Essex CM1 3BE (b) Eric Pickles: MP for Brentwood: 19 Crown Street, Brentwood, Essex CM14 4BA Email: email@example.com Tel: 01277 210725
(c) Charity Commission: Charity Commission Direct, PO Box 1227, Liverpool, L69 3UG (Quote Charity number 1112705 Peniel Church)
(d) Peniel Church: 49 Coxtie Green Road, Brentwood, Essex CM14 5PS Tel: 01277 372996 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> e) Letters of support can also be sent to: Bishop Michael Reid & Dr Ruth Reid, 53 Coxtie Green Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 5PS Tel: 01277 37575 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PRINT DETIALS CAREFULLY. Duplicate if necessary. Sign this petition or Sign online. Email: email@example.com for details Name
Send to: James Peter Jandu, c/o Bishop Michael Reid 53 Coxtie Green Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 5PS Email: firstname.lastname@example.org