Gloucester Council backs down after Christian group stopped from sharing faith
Gloucester City Council has issued an apology after stopping a Christian group from handing out Christian literature in the city centre.
The apology was issued following the threat of legal action from the Christian Legal Centre, after a group of Christians were stopped from distributing Christian booklets in the town’s city centre in July.
The tracts were being handed out by members of at least ten city churches during ‘Bible Day Gloucester’.
But council staff prevented the leaflets from being given out on the day, claiming that the group had breached by-laws that were specific to the town. Gloucester Council has also prevented the handing out of leaflets by Christians on several previous occasions.
Roland Parsons, spokesman for Christians in Gloucester, said:
“‘I’m delighted that the council has seen sense.
“Christians in Gloucester maintain that we have the basic freedom in Britain to hand out literature of a political or religious opinion to any other citizen in Gloucester.
“We also refuse to live in a totalitarian regime where political and religious opinion is banned.
“The city MP would not have been treated in this way if he and his colleagues were handing out political message literature at Gloucester Cross.”
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting the group, commented:
“This is a victory for free speech. Gloucester city council is to be commended for reversing their decision to ban the distribution of Christian literature.
“The Christian Gospel is all about freedom and freedom has been upheld in Gloucester.
“So much of what we value as a nation stems from the teaching of Jesus. It is crucial for the good of our nation that his message is allowed to be shared unimpeded by local or national authorities.”