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Tight security as evangelical group meets in new hall
ROWS of cars with tinted windows descended on a quiet corner of Worcester for a meeting of an evangelical Christian group at their new gospel hall.
About 800 people from the group called the Plymouth Brethren met at the hall off Swinesherd Way, near County Hall, yesterday for their first large fellowship meeting there since the hall opened a fortnight ago.
The Brethren formerly met at Diglis Lane in Worcester, where they had been a presence since the early 1900s.
Security guards were posted at the entrance to the access road which was packed with black and grey 4x4s, some with tinted windows, and a reporter and photographer were asked not to go down the road while the meeting was in progress.
However, event spokesman Rod Buckley said later 20 to 30 church elders were keynote speakers at the gathering, with visitors from all over the UK and 230 from other countries including Canada, the USA, France and Germany.
He said gospel hall will have regular services, prayer meetings, Bible readings and gospel preaching. The larger vehicles were used so more people could attend the event and in order to reduce the carbon footprint, disruption and parking problems Mr Buckley said.
“The old facility was getting outdated and we decided it was time to build a new one in Worcester. We’re part of mainstream Christianity. We simply go by the teachings of the Holy Bible. At all church services, members of the public are welcome to attend” he said.
Mr Buckley also said there had been positive feedback from the public and neighbours who were invited to an open day two weeks ago. He said there were about 18,000 Brethren members in the UK and 46,000 members worldwide. The group was formed in 1827 by John Nelson Darby.
A neighbour, who declined to be named, said: “I believe they’re meeting to open the church up. They’re very polite and smart. I don’t think there are going to be any parking problems.”