Harlow Council throw out bid for controversial church to move in to Harlow Leisurezone

General / Wed 9th Jun 2021 am30 08:40am

PLANS for a controversial church to move into the Harlow Leisurezone have been thrown out by the Harlow Council planning committee.

The Christian Revival Church (CRC) had hoped to move into the area left vacant by Science Alive.

The council officers had recommended the bid for approval and in the meeting laid out their reasons stressing this was all about meeting planning criteria.

Two people spoke at the meeting before the councillors debated it.

Harlow resident Miranda Isherwood and Toddbrook councillor, Tony Edwards.

Ms Isherwood stressed that she understood the officers reasons for objection but in her three minute presentation detailed how she felt the change of use would mean a “demonstrable harm to the community and the ideology is a matter of concern”

She added: “The Christian Revival Church presents a threat to the well-being of that community”

Cllr Edwards concentrated on the Twitter feeds of two Pastors of the church. He said: “I was appalled by the amount of anti-vaccine propaganda…..they were against ban on gay conversion therapy..

“There is a wider issue here….well-being and social inclusion. How on earth does that fit in?

“This building was publicly funded. What you are hoping to doing is give dover 1/8th of the ground floor to this church.”

After that a number of councillors spoke and made it quite clear that they would be voting against the proposal.

Cllr Mike Danvers said: “We are talking about a sect, a cult, that takes over people’s lives.

“I will be bringing this topic up when the Harlow and District Sports Trust hold their AGM in September.

“This building was paid for entirely by public money. This should not be treated like a public fiefdom.

“The Netteswell area of Harlow has some very vulnerable people and they could be in a situation, giving up 10% of their income.”

The councillors unanimously rejected the application.

No-one from CRC or Harlow Leisurezone attended at the meeting

The film of the application is below.

Ms Isherwood speech can be found at 3.44 point. Cllr Edwards after that.

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9 Comments for Harlow Council throw out bid for controversial church to move in to Harlow Leisurezone:

Victoria page
2021-06-09 09:09:47

Totally agree with Harlow Council, they have made the right decision,I think this sort of church would be dangerous for the community

Karen Kline
2021-06-09 09:49:16

Yes 100% agree with this decision, Gods love is unconditional and non judgemental. There are enough good churches in the community. For some it is just misinterpreting the WORD. Having said that MANY religions suggest a 10% tithe so that is a bit of a weak point.

Edward Vine
2021-06-09 12:43:30

It is encouraging to see the council acting on principle and for the public good on this issue. As for the grounds surely at the legal heart of this is that Harlow Sports Charity, as was pointed out at the meeting, was and would be acting outside of their legal constitution, powers and remit to facilitate, support or allow or promote the practice of a religious group or church or sect or company by being part of this proposed change of use or gaining access. Period. It also raises the separate question as to how the sect came to know or identify the site in the first place?

Linda Cramphorn
2021-06-09 18:05:14

I totally agree that this should not be allowed. We take our grandchildren there and I do not want them seeing signs and propaganda about anti vaccination/ against gays and other hurtful views. The atmosphere there is for fun, good social interactions and a relaxing atmosphere. That’s what I want for my grandchildren.

Paula Hurley
2021-06-09 18:38:07

I'm an atheist but respect all religions. I personally feel that it would be wrong to house any one religious group within Leisurezone which is a community space used by all faiths and non believers

2021-06-09 18:38:19

I have experienced CRC and the children who go into the children’s groups while the adults are in the church service are also brought in to see how the adults pray ‘talking in tongues’. This was done without my knowledge. The children are also told to donate 10% of their birthday money, Christmas money and pocket money

2021-06-09 21:16:47

This is good decision. I respect all religions but Harlow Leisurezone is not a place for a church.

2021-06-09 21:58:29

To Edward Vine, re: ‘It also raises the separate question as to how the sect came to know or identify the site in the first place?’ It’s listed on Right Move.

2021-06-12 13:01:19

Agreed. We don't need another "house of hypocrisy"... let alone anywhere near the Leisurezone. Please keep them away. It's bad enough they lie "religiously". Telling kids "father christmas", "the easter bunny" and "tooth fairy" are real. * They don't seen to understand... a lie, is a lie, is a lie... even under the guise of "religion". I don't need them preaching / "bible bsshing" their lies to me when I'm trying to enjoy leisure time. Thank you.

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