Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Chris Brain: Sheffield priest denies sex attacks on 11 women

A former priest who led an evangelical church movement has denied sexually abusing members of his congregation.

Chris Brain, 66, ran the Nine O'Clock Service in Sheffield in the 1980s and 1990s.

Mr Brain, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, pleaded not guilty at Inner London Crown Court on Tuesday to one charge of rape and 33 counts of indecent assault relating to 11 women.

His trial is scheduled to begin at the same court on 30 June next year.

The offences are alleged to have been committed between 1981 and 1995.

The Nine O'Clock Service, which was part of the Church of England, was set up in the early 1980s and ran until 1995.

Its nightclub-style services, aimed at young adults, were initially held at St Thomas's Church, in the Crookes area of Sheffield, before moving to Ponds Forge sport complex in the city centre.

Mr Brain, who was released on unconditional bail, will next appear at court for a case management hearing on 10 June 2024.

His trial is expected to last eight to 10 weeks.