Police called to church going ahead with service despite ban on gatherings

0
13


Police were called to a church holding a religious service on Sunday evening despite them being not permitted in Wales under coronavirus restrictions.

Officers from South Wales Police were called to New Hope Community Church in Llanrumney, Cardiff on Sunday evening as adults and children congregated inside. A video was shared to the church’s Facebook page, where officers can be seen walking inside.

A person in the video, who is wearing a mask as is everyone inside the church, says: “We are at church right now and the police just showed up. They have knocked on all the windows and the doors, they shined flashlights, so please pray for us right now. I’m just letting you know this is happening. This is in Cardiff. We are not even in a third world country right now, this is in Cardiff.”



Police were called to New Hope Community Church in Llanrumney

The video then shows a police officer inform the people inside the church that they have received phone calls from members of the public who are concerned about people breaching the coronavirus regulations at the church. The officer, wearing a mask, informs the church they are breaching coronavirus rules.

He asks them to leave the church, to pray and worship at home and to wait for the 17 days to “blow over.”

After a discussion with the police officers, the congregation agrees to leave the church.

Tell us what you think of Wales’ fire-break lockdown:

One person, who appears to be the church pastor, addresses the police officers and says: “This is really strange and, I say it respectfully, we love you guys as police officers and we are not law-breaking people.

“But when they say to us that it is illegal to come and worship our God, this is the West, this isn’t a nation somewhere far off somewhere else.”

The police officer challenges the pastor and says the government are not telling them not to worship, but are “asking you not to gather indoors”.

The pastor elaborates on the rules and explains how it is illegal to sing, adding that the Christian faith is “the only religion that sings.”

Another person in the video can be heard saying: “You will be asking us not to believe next.”

The police officer responds: “As a Christian myself, I am not going to do that. I have a Christian family. My own mother is finding other ways to pray.”



Police officers were filmed as thy entered the church

The video shows the people in the church praying for the next couple of minutes before people beginning to leave.

The video was shared by the church on its Facebook page, which said: “It’s a strange season. If someone would have said a year ago that gathering to worship your God and praying together would be interrupted and disbanded by the police, no one should have believed it. But here we are. 2020. Wales. UK. It is an illegal thing to gather. To sing. See for yourselves.”

South Wales Police and Christian Concern, the organisation which represents New Hope Community Church, have both been approached for comment.

Church leaders from across Wales have written a letter to the Welsh Government seeking an urgent review of fire-break lockdown measures that ban places of worship from opening for three Sundays.

Their legal team say they will seek a judicial review of the ban early next week if they do not get a response.

Closing places of worship is “probably illegal and is immoral” said Rev Peter Greasley, senior pastor at Christchurch, Newport.

In a pre-action claim, lawyers acting for the group of church leaders argue that blanket restrictions imposed on Welsh churches are unlawful and unnecessary.

“Such a far-reaching and large-scale intervention may only be justified by the most compelling scientific evidence of a resulting benefit to public health,” it says.

The church leaders, who said they work in some of the most deprived areas of Wales and are from a range of denominations, said they acknowledge the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic but have made places of worship safe to re-open and this “should be a matter for church rather than secular authorities”.

The letter has also been signed by church leaders in England, including Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden former chaplain to the Queen.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here