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

A Chilliwack driver’s vehicle was impounded for seven days after an excessive speeding violation. (RCMP photo)
RCMP catch Chilliwack driver doing 60 km/h over posted speed limit

The motorist was hit with a big ticket and a seven day vehicle impoundment

Glenwood Seniors Community is the second long term care home in Agassiz to have a COVID-19 outbreak. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Glenwood Seniors Community in Agassiz

The long term care home is the second of Agassiz’s three facilities to have an outbreak

UFV assistant kinesiology professor Dr. Iris Lesser exercises along Chilliwack's Vedder Rotary Trail with her daughter Kaia. (UFV photo)
UFV study finds women with reduced physical activity had more mental health struggles during COVID pandemic

The study suggested women suffered more than men as gyms, parks and playgrounds shut down

The section of Princess Avenue from Young Road to Nowell Street, seen here on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, will be converted to one-way traffic to help increase parking in the area. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack council opts to convert downtown street to one-way traffic to create parking

Council voted to start with Princess Avenue, holding off on converting Victoria Avenue until later

Uber Eats has announced that it is now delivering food orders in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. (Submitted photo by Justin Walker)
Uber Eats announces expansion into Chilliwack

Food-delivery company is starting with 60 local restaurants

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

BC Place Stadium in a photo posted to cisc-icca.ca.
Roof of BC Place a stage for performers during online music festival

‘This will be the first time any artists have performed from the 204-foot iconic Vancouver rooftop’

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Driver crashes vehicle twice in one day near Princeton

Abbotsford woman, 29, wasn’t injured in either incident

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Most Read