A church in Langley was fined $2,300 this past weekend, for failing to adhere to BC’s provincial COVID-19 orders around public gatherings.
According to Langley RCMP Const. Holly Largy, officers attended to the church, Riverside Calvary Chapel, after being contacted by ByLaw Enforcement, who “had received complaints about the church holding gatherings and events. ”
Largy noted that bylaw officers had already once previously attended the church on November 26 , and “advised them” to hold their services only online.
“Our officers attended yesterday and offered the congregation the opportunity to disperse” Largy told Daily Hive. “They would not and the fine was issued.”
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During a press conference on Monday, BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said she was “contacted by many faith leasers this weekend to talk about some of the issues that we are dealing with.”
During these discussions, Henry said she was “reminded in many ways that faith is not a bundling, it’s not about Sunday mornings, but it’s about every day and how we connect with each other and how we support each other. It’s about community and responsibility to our fellow citizens, and I think e are seeing that around the world, global faith leaders showing an example across the world.”
Earlier this month, Henry issued a new public health order, banning all community gatherings and events in the province – regardless of how many people they include – until at least December 7.
As part of the orders, “places of worship are to have no-in person services for this period of time.” That said, exceptions will be made “for those important events – funerals, weddings, ceremonies such as baptisms – which may proceed in a limited way with a maximum of 10 people including the officiant.” As well, “there are to be no associated receptions – inside or outside – associated with these celebrations.”