Actor Tom Cruise has received a standing ovation for his financial support of controversial religion, Scientology.

The MISSION IMPOSSIBLE star has donated a staggering $3.6 million (GBP2 million) to the cause, and was thanked by English devotees with a special award for his services.

Attending the ceremony in Grinstead, Sussex, Cruise and pregnant fiancee Katie Holmes were astonished when members spontaneously stood up to applaud their celebrity colleague as he was given the Diamond Meritorious award for championing Scientology.

One witness says, "It has been an amazing event and it is even more amazing that Tom has brought Katie.

It feels really good knowing that she is one of us now."