Gloriavale witness talks of ‘crushing’ treatment and forgiveness

Gloriavale witness talks of ‘crushing’ treatment and forgiveness

By Jean Edwards | RNZ |

A Gloriavale woman has broken down in court describing a humiliating scolding by then-senior leader Fervent Stedfast in the Christian community’s dining room.

Treasure Stedfast also shed tears at the Employment Court hearing in Greymouth, expressing her sorrow at the way former members felt about their life at the West Coast sect.

Six former Gloriavale women claim they lived in slave-like conditions on a gruelling rotation of domestic duties and are seeking a ruling they were employees, rather than volunteers.

Under cross-examination, the women’s barrister Brian Henry questioned Treasure Stedfast about “pretty crushing” treatment by Shepherd Fervent Stedfast, who publicly shamed her for talking.

She broke down, telling the court she believed in forgiveness and reconciliation.

“He did tell me off in the dining room and yes, at the time it was humiliating and I didn’t like it,” she said.

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