Street Church in Calgary hosted ‘festivals’ on the front steps of City Hall, April 26 and 29.
The events attracted about 3,000 people as the ministry provided free food and socks to the poor and homeless and presented the gospel through music and preaching.
City security forces videotaped the event, but no arrests were made. For the last several years, the church has been in a battle with Calgary city authorities over its ministry on city streets and in city parks. Members of the ministry have received over 70 tickets for infractions such as giving away goods and services, gathering a crowd, operating a barbecue, placing material on the ground and emitting objectionable noise (for using sound equipment).
The City says it is just trying to enforce its bylaws, while Centre Church lead pastor Artur Pawlowski insists the City is trying to restrict freedom of speech.
The public action group Concerned Christians Canada is supporting the church.