Sound of victory
Lambeth Council has had to climb down after attempting to slap a noise abatement ban on a 600-strong London church.
The All Nations Centre in Kennington was served with a noise abatement notice from the council on 25 September last year. This prevented the church from amplifying their music or sermons to the congregation, on threat of prosecution.
The church had not been given any warning or opportunity for discussion, contrary to authority guidelines. The church was advised by leading human rights barrister, Paul Diamond, after it sought the help of the Christian Legal Centre (CLC). According to the CLC, local MP Kate Hoey backed the church throughout, claiming that they have served the community well for years.
The notice was seen as intimidation and religious harassment and so the All Nations Centre decided to go to court. However, Lambeth Council has repealed the notice and backed down from pursuing the noise abatement order.
Onn Sein Kon, Case Manager at the CLC, said: ‘Regrettably, our case-load is increasing with councils issuing noise abatement notices as a means of curtailing or closing churches in London. Success in this case sends out a clear message that this method will not work’.