A church in south London has been fined thousands of pounds for holding noisy 3am services aimed at fending off evil spirits. Magistrates ordered the leaders of Camberwell’s Kingdom Church, a branch of the Bishop Climate Ministries, to pay £7,740.50 after Southwark Council was flooded with complaints about “loud preaching” and “amplified music” every Saturday morning.
It also said nearby residents were having to put up with persistent and excessive noise levels on an almost daily basis from the church’s regular services.The services, held in the small hours, claim to offer “deliverance” from sickness, financial hardship and “demonic soul ties”.
A female worker at the church said that the services had to be held at 3am because it was the best time to ensure “very strong deliverance” from evil.
One neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said the noise was incessant.
"I live directly next to it," he said. "The noise is constant.
I don’t mind being bothered on Sunday mornings, but the late evening and early morning sessions are horrible.
When there is a pause, the congregation flood out to the street to get food from a small food stand for a recharge, making just as much noise as while inside."
Church leaders were given the fine at Camberwell Magistrates Court after being found guilty of two charges under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1980.
Southwark council cabinet member for communities and safety Cllr Michael Situ said: “We would have preferred to settle this matter out of court, but unfortunately our attempts to work with the church leaders were ignored.
We hope the penalty helps to remind both the leaders, and the wider community, anti-social behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated and wrongdoers will be made to pay one way or another.”
Bishop Climate Wiseman said the church would appeal the fine.
He said: “It is a big fine and we will be appealing against it. I do not deny that we made some noise – we did. But we have spent nearly ten thousand pounds reducing the noise.”