Solitude Park praise event approved

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s environment committee has backed plans for three evening praise services to take place in Banbridge.

At a meeting on Tuesday, May 3, members of the committee were informed Banbridge Baptist Church has submitted a request to hold three Sunday evening praise services on June 5, June 12 and July 3 in Solitude Park.

Each service will run from 6:30pm until 7:30pm.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

Banbridge Baptist Church first held its ‘Praise in the Park’ event in July 2012 and in the exception of those years with COVID-19 restrictions this has been an annual event.

Permission has been sought by the Church to hold the event again as section 12 of Council’s bye laws states, “no person shall preach, lecture, or take part in any public meeting for political, religious or any other purpose, or take part in any public show, performance or demonstration, except with the prior consent of the council and in such part of the recreational facilities as may be set aside by the council for that purpose”.

Members were informed a rural needs impact assessment has been carried out in relation to this request and officers are not aware of any equality or good relations implications as a result of this request. As such, officers recommended the request was approved.

A proposal to accept the recommendation to grant approval for Banbridge Baptist Church to hold three Sunday evening praise services in Solitude Park was put forward by Councillor Paul Greenfield.

“I am happy to propose that we accept this recommendation, I was just saying to a director before the meeting that it is great to see the park being used more and for different events,” he said.

“It certainly is a great spot so I am happy to propose we accept the recommendation to approve the request.”

This proposal was seconded by Alderman Ian Burns and the committee voiced its approval.