A street preacher has been issued with an COVID-19 enforcement notice and told by police to stop preaching in Taunton town centre under the new coronavirus legislation.
Michael Overd, who has been preaching in the town centre for 11 years, was at his usual place on Fore Street near Market House when police took him away.
He was given a warning last Saturday (March 28) and police formally cautioned him and removed him from the street yesterday.
Mr Overd was issued with a notice for ‘failure to comply with an instruction’ under the new Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) England, Regulations 2020.
Avon and Somerset Police have the power to issue these fixed penalty notices if an individual or business refuses to comply with lockdown measures.
But Mr Overd said he will refuse to pay any fine.
He said he was eating his lunch alone at around 2.15pm, having been preaching with a colleague, when police approached him.
Mr Overd told them he was a “religious worker” before adding: “I told them it was my place of work. This is my job – I’m a street preacher.
“We had a very good day, giving out Bibles and praying with people. People were stopping, and we were keeping the two metres distance, as best we could.
“There was one dear Christian lady who was so upset that her church was shut, and I prayed with her.”
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Editors note. This post was written by Richard Wright . Originally posted at Somerset live. Titled change by Pulpit & Pen
Editors note #2 . Here is a quote from Mike Overd from his Facebook page, not in the original article
” The Christian and the Church of Jesus Christ are meant to be a light on a hill, not hidden under a bushel. These are the very Words of the Christ we claim to follow. We are to preach and witness as the people of God, in season and out, with virus or not! We are the centre of the world and the apple of God’s eye and it’s about time we started acting like it! Stand up, stand up for Jesus, you soldiers of the cross!
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