In what looks to be another effort to increase their stranglehold on Hereford, two Freedom Church pastors could be about to open a burger restaurant in the city.
Josh and Rosie Snowzell are listed as directors of a Bromleys Hereford Burger Limited, incorporated in June 2014, and are rumoured to be in talks with Old Market Hereford.
The Heckler has heard from a source closely linked to the project that architects are involved in drawing up layout plans for a restaurant at the new shopping complex.
Old Market Hereford have refused to either confirm or deny these rumours.
In a separate development Freedom Church is also claimed to have put forward candidates for the local elections.
A leaflet, allegedly published by the church, states “vote for Conservative Jon Johnson, let’s vote for Hereford Freedom Church”.
Johnson had been a Freedom Church employee until 2014 and both he and his wife continue to be connected to them. He was announced as the Conservative candidate for Wormside, a south Herefordshire ward including the villages of Kingstone, Allensmore and Kilpeck.
Another Conservative candidate, Mark McEvilly, standing in Hereford’s Saxon Gate ward, is another council hopeful found to be closely linked with the church.
McEvilly’s proposer and seconder, Allen and Sue Carter, are also Freedom Church supporters. Allen is employed by the televangelist Christian Broadcasting Network, which has its European office based in Hereford. All other eight of his candidacy nominees either have links to Freedom Church itself or other similar style Christian organisations.
Charity rules ban organisations like Freedom Church from getting involved in politics. Expressing support for a particular party or candidate is explicitly forbidden.
If these revelations are more than an extremely coincidental set of circumstances, then it represents a worrying development in the church’s dominant aspirations. In the past senior members have sat on the board of governors at Whitecross high school, and been involved in the delivery of youth and social services with their 2XL programme. They are potentially now not only expanding their business activities but moving into politics as well.
Freedom Church’s quest for global growth is openly documented with their 10/04 programme that is hoping to establish a further 10 churches around the world in the next four years. What is not open is the links they have being closed doors in Herefordshire.
They are becoming a powerful public and private network involved in business, politics and social care. You only need to look through press reports, and indeed videos of their own sermons, to realise the religious message they preach is ugly and extremist.