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-UK: Worshipper who Disrupted Church Services to be Prosecuted

by Dr. D ~ April 12th, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11:  Worshippers att...
(Image by Getty Images via Daylife)

A Worshipper who repeatedly disrupted church services is being prosecuted in the UK under a little used archaic law.

An injunction has been served against Jean Gardner-Cato who has been attending the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Horfield, Bristol since she was a little girl. Now her own church is taking her to court because they say that she disrupted services on a number of occasions shouting out accusations against members of the church.

According to the prosecutor:

‘She had been going to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in St Paul’s and caused a nuisance and they had got an injunction against her,” he said.

”Public interest was considered and it was decided that this case does require prosecution.

”She constantly interrupted services, caused a scene and accused people, in public, of having affairs with other members of the congregation.”

Gardner-Cato denies the complaint and says that she was merely worshipping as usual. Her trial is in June.

Response: This will be an interesting case to follow. I have actually been in a number of services at a couple of different churches when folks have disrupted the worship to bring some kind of ‘prophetic’ message of condemnation.

Occasionally Charismatic churches sort of tolerate ‘prophetic’ tirades from visitors. Sometimes they are completely ignored or if the message is way off the mark a pastor or two will respond.

I can remember one church I attended where a ‘prophetic’ lady repeatedly dogged our services for a month with her messages of condemnation against the church and the leaders and refused to leave or be quite. Finally the police had to be summoned after enduring a few weeks of it in a row.

Calling the police sounds pretty radical. It is of course the last result after repeatedly trying to help and correct the individual through loving counsel, and prayer and then seeing no positive results. What really makes this case interesting is that Gardner-Cato was not an outsider visiting but a long-time member of the church.                *Top

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2 Responses to -UK: Worshipper who Disrupted Church Services to be Prosecuted

  1. The Wednesday Link List « Thinking Out Loud

    […] The Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act of 1860.  It’s a little-known law in the UK — and some places closer to home — but as this person found out, it’s illegal to disrupt a worship service, as reported at Answers for the Faith. […]

  2. GH

    Your response above mentions that Gardner-Cato is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. This I do not believe to be actually correct. To be a ‘member’ of the church you need to be baptised and I do not believe this to be so in her case. Yes, she may have been a long-standing attendee at the services, but simply turning up and going on-site at a military base does not, in itself, make me a soldier.

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