The leader of a Camberwell church has promised his critics will be subject to “fire from God” and “strange things” in the wake of a £7,740 fine for noisy sermons.
Bishop Climate (pictured), who oversees hundreds of churches across the globe including The Kingdom Church in Camberwell Station Road, told the News that the fine was an “outrage” and accused Southwark Council of lying.
He said: “It is untrue that we decided not to settle out of court or that we refused to cooperate. We informed the council and its officers daily on the progress we had made. We were never even given the opportunity to settle out of court.”
He added: “This just shows how they are becoming desperate to raise up funds.”
Bishop Climate said that the news of his church’s fine, issued after being found guilty of breaking two charges under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1980, had spread worldwide, with people even coming up to him in the street during a recent visit to Africa.
He said: “Everywhere in the world people are talking about it. Some of the places I have been, Zimbabwe, people are coming up. I oversee more than 400 churches and even now people whom this doesn’t affect have chosen to get involved with things that don’t concern them.”
While Bishop Climate confirmed that he would appeal the fine and seek “justice by the law”, he added that he also expects “divine justice”.
“As a spiritual man, I know that divine intervention is true,” he said. “We may look as if we are cornered and a minority in this situation but with God I am the majority.
“This is out of order and I am going to trust God that anyone who has made any negative statements about The Kingdom Church, the wrath of God is going to come down on all of them.”
Before Easter weekend, he promised God would “clean them out”, and explained that the names of those who had wronged and spoken badly about the church would be put into flames at the church’s fire service.
He added: “And you watch and see strange things are going to happen!”
He even specified the exact time, 7.30pm on Good Friday, March 25, that God would “come down and burn” – around the same period that Storm Katie began wreaking havoc on the borough.
A council spokesperson said: “We received over 100 complaints of loud and persistent noises coming from The Kingdom Church. Despite warnings and advice and support, the church refused to change their behaviour, which resulted in necessary enforcement action. The fact that the courts issued such a hefty fine shows just how severe an issue it was. We hope that the installation of sound proofing in the church will improve the situation for local people, but we will continue to regularly monitor noise from the Kingdom Church.”