LETTER: Councillor Croft wearing two hats

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It was with interest I read Harry Shutt’s letter (County Times 20/03/14) and Cllr Helena Croft’s (Roffey North) footnote reply. She did not seem very pleased with questions about possible conflict between her role as pastor at Freedom Faith (also where her husband is a pastor and trustee) and Deputy Leader of Horsham District Council (HDC).

In an article by Teresa Neumann: ‘European Leaders gather in Spain to get prophetic insight from God; plan for spiritual reformation’ (9.5.08, Staff- Inspire Magazine) a certain Mr Mal Fletcher said: ‘Our plan is to reposition the church as a core influence in European culture over the next ten to 10 years. The church was not designed to exist at the edges of society - irrelevant and unnoticed. Some say Europe is ‘post-Christian’. It’s actually beyond that. In many ways Europe is pre-Christian again and ready for a dramatic spiritual revolution.’

That seemed to chime with what Cllr Helena Croft was proposing to do to Horsham and those councillors of a ‘certain demographic’ (to use her words from her interview on 01/05/13).

Then I noticed article (County Times 27/03/14): ‘An international think-tank event for Horsham, aimed at pulling creative new businesses into the town, is being rescheduled to make it possible for more key leaders to attend’.

The event was to have been held at ‘The Hub’ which is part of the building at Kingdom Faith, Foundry Lane, Horsham. I’m none the wiser for the reason for the re-scheduling, having read the article, but I noted that this was being organised by ‘2020Plus’ whose chairman is the same Mal Fletcher. Mr Fletcher said: ‘At 2020Plus we strongly believe in the future of Horsham, as a potential hub of innovation to attract the young entrepreneurs and new businesses that will safeguard the future of the district’.

Of course 2020Plus Horsham is linked to Kingdom Faith (essentialchristian.com/mal-fletcher/teaching/raising-the-pioneering-spirit andkingdomfaith.com/WatchAndListen/Speaker-13-Mal-Fletcher.aspx

The event was to have invited civic leaders and not doubt that that would have been Helena Croft wearing her two hats of deputy leader at HDC and pastor at Kingdom Faith.

One view is that the event was cancelled due to the controversy over the flawed business case for a industrial park in the Strategic Gap and whether Cllr Croft would have found Mal Fletcher’s ‘insight’ into the world of business in Horsham in fact a distraction at this time.

Andrew Lobley

Wordsworth Place, Horsham

Editor’s note: the following response has been received from 2020Plus:

‘This is missing the point. 2020Plus is an international think-tank working across Europe to bring together business and civic leaders to explore ways to better serve our communities.

So in Horsham, the aim of the event is to help leaders in the worlds of business, government and the voluntary sector attract innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs to the town and district. The aim is to help the entire community thrive and prosper.

Regrettably, this correspondent takes out of context a six-year-old quote made at an entirely different event for church leaders in Spain, which was not hosted by 2020Plus. This referenced the pivotal role the Christian faith has often played in helping to shape European cultures for the common good.

What 2020Plus aims to do is bring together people of goodwill and energy – regardless of faith – for the benefit of their communities.’