Acts 5:28 …Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?
‘A street preacher has been issued with an COVID-19 enforcement notice and told by police to stop preaching in Taunton town centre under the new coronavirus legislation.
Michael Overd, who has been preaching in the town centre for 11 years, was at his usual place on Fore Street near Market House when police took him away.
He was given a warning last Saturday (March 28) and police formally cautioned him and removed him from the street yesterday.
Mr Overd was issued with a notice for ‘failure to comply with an instruction’ under the new Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) England, Regulations 2020.
Avon and Somerset Police have the power to issue these fixed penalty notices if an individual or business refuses to comply with lockdown measures.
But Mr Overd said he will refuse to pay any fine.
He said he was eating his lunch alone at around 2.15pm, having been preaching with a colleague, when police approached him.
Mr Overd told them he was a “religious worker” before adding: “I told them it was my place of work. This is my job – I’m a street preacher.
“We had a very good day, giving out Bibles and praying with people. People were stopping, and we were keeping the two metres distance, as best we could.
“There was one dear Christian lady who was so upset that her church was shut, and I prayed with her.”
On Saturday, the police told him they would seek legal advice, but he claimed they told him they had not yet received it.
He continued: “They said in the meantime you are to go home, and I said ‘No, sir’, in the meantime, I will carry on preaching’.
“They didn’t have the relevant paperwork with them, so we had to wait for a colleague to bring it. That was a farce in itself.”
After Mr Overd was issued the notice, police officers packed away his loudspeaker gear and scripture boards. When he still refused to leave, they escorted him to the police car.
But Mr Overd says he intends to carry on preaching despite the coronavirus lockdown measures.’https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/somerset-news/overd-street-preacher-taunton-coronavirus-4018471