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Now other groups back off cult's fete

Title: Now other groups back off cult's fete
Date: Friday, 24 June 1994
Publisher: East Grinstead Courier (UK)
Main source: link (119 KiB)

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CONTROVERSY this week continued to cloud tomorrow's Saint Hill summer fete.

Other groups have now denied links with the Church of Scientology event after Queen Victoria Hospital last week refused to accept cult money from the proceeds.

Advertisements and flyers pushed through East Grinstead letter boxes say the fete, with John Travolta topping the bill, will be opened by Radio Mercury.

But the station's programme director, Martin Campbell, denied it would attend the event at the organisation's headquarters.

He stressed: "Radio Mercury has no involvement whatsoever with the Church of Scientology or the fete."

Mr Campbell said Radio Mercury was not contacted by Scientologists but had spoken with fete organiser Liz Dalrymple, who acknowledged it was wrong to use the company's name.

He said the station was billed as appearing after a former Radio Mercury presenter, Chris Oxlade, agreed to attend the fete.

Mr Campbell added: "The agreement was between him and the Church of Scientology. It's nothing to do with us at all."

The Courier last week disclosed that the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead was "appalled" by advertisements saying money raised would be in aid of its burns unit.

A spokesman for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, said to be receiving donations, denied links.

He said: "We did receive a gift from the Church of Scientology last year. But we have reviewed the situation and decided it's not in our best interests to be associated with them. We told them we will decline to accept anything this year."

St John Ambulance officer Roger Leonard, of Felbridge and East Grinstead division, said the volunteer organisation would welcome donations.

"We've no reason to doubt their generosity," he said. "I know they have had a pretty rough ride but maybe that's to do with ignorance and intolerance."

Fete organiser Liz Dalrymple said: "QVH and Great Ormond Street were happy last year with their Involvement and with the funds they received.

"This year all groups were told we would like to donate to them. There seemed to be no problem so for them to pull out at the last minute is uncharitable, not to say unkind."