Victory as first Christian preacher to be prosecuted under covid regs sees case thrown out

Sep 10, 2021 by

from Christian Concern:

The first Christian preacher to fall foul of coronavirus laws during the first English lockdown, has had the case against him dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The loss of religious freedom due to coronavirus regulations during the pandemic has been hotly contested, most notably in the successful judicial review of Scottish restrictions on public worship in March 2021.

On 2 April 2020, Mike Overd, 56, who has been supported by the Christian Legal Centre, refused to stop his street ministry, which he has run in Taunton town centre, Somerset, for over a decade.

Preaching and offering prayer and Bibles in his usual spot at a time when all churches were closed, a complaint from a member of the public followed and officers from Avon and Somerset police came to confront him.

Officers warned Mr Overd that he had to go home under the new Coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Overd, who works exclusively as a preacher and a lay minister, said he was fulfilling his duties as an evangelist, offering pastoral support to those struggling at a time of national crisis – while adhering to official social distancing rules of keeping two metres apart.

He asked the police officers if the authorities were now: ‘banning Christian workers from coming to help people?’ 

After refusing to go home, officers packed up Mr Overd’s Bibles, and removed him from the area. He was then issued him with a fixed penalty notice for £60.

Read here

Read also: Crown Prosecution throws out case against Christian street preacher, from Christian Today

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