Parishioners have accused London police of trying to find lockdown rule-breaking during an Easter Sunday service to justify having shut down a Good Friday mass at a Polish church.
The Christ the King Polish Roman Catholic Church in Balham, Wandsworth, south London, came to prominence over the weekend after several police officers raided the place of worship on one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar, alleging that the gathering was “unlawful”, threatening the faithful with £200 fines if they did not leave.
The church has demanded an apology from London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and maintains that churchgoers had kept proper social distancing and hygiene procedures in accordance with government rules regarding the reopening of places of worship.
According to the Dail Mail, two officers showed up at the church on Balham High Street on Sunday during mass and spoke to two church stewards before leaving, apparently not finding reasons to issue any fines or dispersal orders.
Wandsworth police tweeted on Sunday afternoon: “After police were called to a church in Balham on Friday, we are pleased that Easter events could continue at this church as planned throughout Saturday and on Sunday. We continue to engage with all of London’s communities to enable religious services to take place safely.”