Langley RCMP have issued two $2,300 fines to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding in-person services despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Langley Advance Times file)

Langley RCMP have issued two $2,300 fines to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding in-person services despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Langley Advance Times file)

Police warned Langley church will face more fines for in-person worship: court documents

Riverside Calvary Church says it follows COVID restrictions that existed before all-out ban

Police warned the Riverside Calvary Church in Langley will face more fines if it continues to hold in-person worship in defiance of provincial orders against large gatherings during the pandemic.

According to a petition filed on Jan. 7 in the Vancouver B.C. Supreme Court registry on behalf of Riverside Calvary and several other parties in B.C., two bylaw officers and six RCMP officers arrived at the church in the 9600 block of 201st Street to issue the first ticket for $2,300 on Sunday, Nov. 29.

“The officers threatened to return that day to issue more tickets if gatherings continued, stating the individuals attending the [church] may be ticketed as well,” the document described.

Officers did return the same day, but no more tickets were issued, the document said.

When a second ticket was issued on Sunday, Jan. 3, the document said two police officers issued it to a church pastor who happened to be parked in the parking lot and not conducting a service.

“The officers warned of more tickets if [the] church continued to meet.”

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

In the document, Riverside said it has been operating under the COVID-19 restrictions of a previous provincial directive that had allowed worship services for up to 50 people.

Precautions included holding several smaller-sized services with limits on the number of people, the removal of chairs to maintain physical distancing and sanitizer stations, the lawsuit said.

“The sanctuary was cleaned between each service and masks were also provided. A reservation link was put on [the church] website for people to reserve seats and it complied with all public health directives.”

READ ALSO: Business owner under siege for reporting Langley church pleased pastor has spoken out

The document contains claims that have not been proven in court.

While some of the information in the petition obtained by the Langley Advance Times was redacted, it was clear from the ticket numbers cited which section described the Langley church.

In the document, the church is described as an “Evangelical church which involves expositional Bible teaching verse by verse.”

“They believe that gathering together for worship is essential to their spiritual health and the benefits include mutual encouragement, caring for one another, praying for one another and singing together.”

READ ALSO: Suspending in-person church services called an ‘act of Christian charity’ by Langley pastor

Lawyer Marty Moore of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, the group that filed the legal challenge, said Riverside Calvary Chapel “has gone to extraordinary lengths to comply with safety protocols.”

“It is one of a significant number of BC faith communities that sincerely believe they must gather for in person worship and for the spiritual and emotional well-being of their members,” Moore told the Langley Advance Times.

“The (Provincial Health Officers) PHO’s Order prohibiting any religious gathering regardless of the safety protocols implemented is not minimally impairing of individuals’ Charter rights and freedoms and in fact discriminates against faith communities,” Moore added.

“Individuals and faith communities have appropriately sought judicial review of this Order and look forward to the Court’s determination of this important matter.”

The court document asked to have the ban on large gatherings quashed and the fines dismissed, arguing the provincial authorities exceeded their statutory authority.

In addition to Riverside, the lawsuit includes affidavits from one person who participated in public protests against COVID-19 restrictions, and a number of other church leaders.

READ ALSO: As many as 19 Fraser Valley churches have defied a COVID-related ban on in-person worship

At least 19 churches in the Fraser Valley have been holding in-person services in defiance of a provincial ban ordered to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

Electric charging stations, like this one outside the new North Delta Centre for the Arts, might be seeing more commercial delivery vehicles using them soon, if a provincial rebate program takes off. (James Smith photo/Special to Black Press Media)
Restaurants to get big rebates for electric delivery vehicles

The project boosts the rebates for electric commercial and industrial vehicles in B.C.

The CubicFarm System moves rows of leafy greens through a system calibrated to grow the perfect crop. (
Veritcal farm company based in Pitt Meadows, Langley raises millions

The company has raised more than $15 million from investors

Langley Thunder (Black Press Media files)
Langley Thunder trades for Maple Ridge’s Cody Malawsky

BC Junior A Lacrosse League draft was held remotely on Thursday, Jan. 14

A woman uses her computer keyboard to type while surfing the internet in North Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Township of Langley says coding matters

Registration open for virtual codathon hosted in conjunction with the Intelligent Community Forum

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

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

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

The Delta Hospice Society operates the Harold & Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care (pictured) and the Irene Thomas Hospice in Ladner. (The Canadian Press photo)
Fraser Health to evict Delta Hospice Society, open new hospice beds next door

Health authority will serve DHS 30 days’ notice when service agreement expires Feb. 25

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read