Culture Guard executive director Kari Simpson spoke to reporters outside the Riverside Calvary Church in Langley on Sunday, Dec. 6, to confirm in-person services were again held despite a provincial COVID-19 order to the contrary. Simpson said a ticket issued a week earlier for breaching the ban would be challenged in court. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Bad Video Embed Code

Culture Guard executive director Kari Simpson spoke to reporters outside the Riverside Calvary Church in Langley on Sunday, Dec. 6, to confirm in-person services were again held despite a provincial COVID-19 order to the contrary. Simpson said a ticket issued a week earlier for breaching the ban would be challenged in court. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: B.C. church defies provincial ban on in-person services for a second time

Plans legal challenge of $2,300 fine issued in November

A B.C. church that was fined for holding in-person services a week ago held them again on Sunday, Dec. 6 in Langley, with what one witness described as “bylaw officers” observing from the parking lot.

However, no tickets were issued to the Riverside Calvary church at the time, said Kari Simpson, executive director of the Langley-based Culture Guard group.

Interviewed at the church, Simpson told reporters attendance at the morning service overflowed from the chapel into a church fellowship hall in the same complex as the chapel, located in the 9600 block of 201 Street.

While some parishioners wore masks, others did not, Simpson said.

“I see a lot of people exercising their right to wear masks and I see a lot of people exercising their right not to wear masks,” Simpson said.

READ MORE: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Simpson said the $2,300 fine levied on the previous Sunday, Nov. 29, will be challenged in court, with the church entering a not-guilty plea.

“I think it’s an opportunity,” Simpson commented.

“[Provincial health officer] Bonnie Henry is going to have to justify her position on this. I think she’s going to have real trouble.”

Simpson told reporters at the church that she was not a member of the congregation, but was acting as an advocate for the church, and a “p––d off citizen.”

Simpson said the church has experienced considerable heat on social media over holding services, both for and against.

“Calling it a mixed reaction would be an understatement,” Simpson said, and called for “tempered” comment.

She said more people appeared to be attending the church after the ticket was issued..

Culture Guard is best known for its opposition to the use of the SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) resources in schools, and it’s campaign to have a “Canadian Judeo-Christian Flag” raised at Langley City hall after a rainbow Pride flag was flown.

Simpson filed a human rights complaint against the city to argue the Pride banner “panders to sex activism, bully tactics, child abuse and special rights for certain groups.”

Her claim was rejected by a human rights tribunal, a victory that cost the City $62,000.

READ ALSO: Human rights win in flag fight cost Langley City $62,000

A fine was levied on the Riverside Calvary church after RCMP were called to the Riverside Calvary Chapel on the previous Sunday, Nov. 29, to investigate a report that in-person services were being held.

Cpl. Holly Largy said officers found a services were in progress.

“They [the church members] were given an opportunity to disperse, which they declined,” Largy said.

That was when the fine was issued.

Police made a second trip to the church later in the day, but found there was no in-person service in progress, only a virtual one.

READ MORE: COVID-19: B.C. extends private gathering ban province-wide

One day after the ticket was issued, pastor Brent Smith said the church was not looking for a fight, but feels it has a right to hold services.

“We just believe there has been many inconsistencies with what is essential, and we simply desire to worship our Lord in a safe and Biblical way.”

Online, the church website describes it as an “evangelical Protestant church” that is affiliated with the Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, a California based mega-church with 30,000 members.

Two other churches in Chilliwack have defied the order against in-person services as well, calling it a violation of the Charter of Rights.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

/ Kevin Mills Photo
Hundreds participate in solidarity parade for transgender student who was bullied

Cars, horses and even planes passed by the Mission waterfront to show support

An amethyst rock was stolen from Swinstones Granite Shop’s showroom in Chilliwack on Yale Rd. West, and they are hoping it will be spotted and returned. They discovered their window smashed and the purple rock stolen on the morning of Jan. 17, 2020. Here a portion of it is pictured to the right. (Submitted image)
Amethyst stolen from Chilliwack stone shop’s showroom

Window smashed at business where purple rock has been on display for nearly 16 years

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

Two people on a paddleboard take advantage of a calm Cultus Lake on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Forecast calls for lots of sun in Fraser Valley this coming week

Most of next seven days will be sunny for eastern Fraser Valley, according to Environment Canada

gdffdg
Mission’s Fraser Valley Music Award winners credit hometown with fostering musical talent

Rebecca Sichon won the pop-category award; Roads Unknown took home the roots-category award

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

Most Read