I’m saddened today to hear of the passing of Noel Stanton, the founder of the Jesus Army.
Not sad for him, but sad because without him this world is surely a little poorer. Happily he leaves an amazing legacy, the pioneering vision that led him to found the Jesus Army lives on, and continues without his leadership.
Working with the poorest and most excluded parts of society, the Jesus Army is an example to anyone who wants to learn about authentic Christian living in the twenty first century. They may not get everything right, but I only know of one person who did.
Stanton deserves credit from all of us for the way that he followed God in founding and sustaining the Jesus Army, many other communities which were founded at the same time have dwindled away to nothing.
I was talking to someone today who was saying that this form of community is best when on the margins, not being drawn into the centre of ‘Christianity’. The Jesus Army were and are certainly on the margins, and that is good. We need more on the margins, less in the centre.
So here’s to you Noel, hats off to you.
A full and fitting tribute can be found here.