Damien Dupont, visiting the Free Grace Baptist Church for an in-person service, during a time when there is a ban on gatherings, speaks to a television news crew outside the church on Dec. 13, 2020. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Damien Dupont, visiting the Free Grace Baptist Church for an in-person service, during a time when there is a ban on gatherings, speaks to a television news crew outside the church on Dec. 13, 2020. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

3 Chilliwack churches could face charges for defying pandemic ban on in-person gatherings

Chilliwack RCMP began with awareness campaign but have now recommended charges for gatherings

At least two churches in Chilliwack continued to defy provincial health orders this Sunday.

The Chilliwack Free Reformed Church, just north of the Vedder overpass, held its 9:30 a.m. service, and the Free Grace Baptist Church held its 11 a.m. service.

Neither of the churches’ parking lots were overly full, and both churches do stream their sermons live for those who prefer to watch from home. But both have also kept their sanctuaries open for their congregants who prefer to worship in person.

On Saturday, Dec. 12, Chilliwack RCMP announced that they are recommending charges against three unnamed churches.

“We have submitted reports with regards to the violation involving in-person congregations from last weekend,” said Sgt. Krista Vrolyk with the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment. “We’re seeking BC Prosecution Service charge assessment.”

A ban on gatherings, including for worship, went into effect on Nov. 19. A church in Langley has also been holding in-person services and has already received fines for doing so.

There was a CTV news crew on site at the Free Baptist Reform Church prior to their 11 a.m. service. They spoke with a man, Damien Dupont. on camera who said it was not his regular church. He also told them that the media is being “disingenuous” about COVID-19, and that people are “dying with COVID, not of COVID.”

The reverends at both churches have spoken to The Progress to defend their decision to hold services despite public health orders.

READ MORE: RCMP submit reports to BC Prosecution Service after three Chilliwack churches continue in-person worship


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

News

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

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Nelson Police responded to 802 calls last year they say had an element of mental health. File photo
Nelson Police: 802 mental-health related calls in 2020

That accounts for 12 per cent of total calls for service

Several large trees came down in the recent windstorm and destroyed a part of the building that houses Camp Koolaree’s showers and boy’s washroom. The camp has served generations of Kootenay families since 1931 as the Nelson area’s longest running children’s summer camp. Photo: Submitted
Camp Koolaree’s wash house destroyed by January windstorms

The camp is in need of donations to make repairs

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
MP Morrison calls Keystone XL permit cancellation ‘devastating news’

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to the Conservative Party’s removal of a controversial Ontario MP

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

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

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital surgical unit

Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Volunteer firefighters from Grand Forks Fire/Rescue head towards the scene of fatal car crash near Gibbs Creek Road, below Highway 3, Thursday evening, Jan. 21. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Motorist dies in Highway 3 crash west of Grand Forks

City first responders were called to the scene Thursday evening, Jan. 21

Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram could be playing for Colorado when the NHL resumes play. (Rik Fedyck/file)
Cranbrook product Bowen Byram makes NHL debut with Avalanche

Highly touted prospect marks first pro game following World Junior tournament in Alberta

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

Most Read