by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - A British pastor who was fined over £16,000 for running her ministry to the homeless during a UK lockdown was told this month that the prosecution has withdrawn the case against her, Christian Legal Centre reports. Pastor Chizumie Dyer, who runs her ‘Church on the Streets’ ministry in Nottingham, England, was issued fines by police in February 2021.
Pastor Dyer and her team minister to around 30 homeless people in a tough part of Nottingham, CLC reports. “Typically they will meet in a car park, hear praise and worship music, a talk and will be fed hot Caribbean food outdoors each Sunday,” CLC said.
On one occasion of ministry in the car park in February, Nottingham police approached Pastor Dyer and declared the gathering was illegal under Covid rules. The declaration and subsequent issuance of a fine were made despite the ministry’s abiding by Covid safety protocols.
“We reach people with the Good News of Jesus Christ during the toughest of times,” Pastor Dyer told CLC. “This is what the church is and what the church should do. For this, however, I was treated like a criminal. We are a church with limited financial resources, so to face fines of this magnitude for helping the homeless was devastating.”
However, earlier this month, the Nottingham Magistrates’ Court told Pastor Dyer that the UK’s Prosecution Service had withdrawn the case, CLC reports. “I am so relieved that this case has been thrown out and justice has finally been served,” she said. “We had people who urgently needed our support and some who said we had prevented them from committing suicide…People were suffering and needed us.”