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Mold church group debates legal action over Gwernymynydd eviction row

A CONTROVERSIAL Flintshire-based Christian group is debating whether to take legal action over its belief it was unfairly evicted from its home.

The 45 members of Father’s House have been meeting every week at Gwernymynydd Village Centre for 11 years.

But pastor Mike Fryer claims the congregation’s pro-Israel views prompted village hall committee members to ask them to leave in May.

“I met with a barrister last week but we’re still in discussions about whether to take legal action, so it could go either way,” said Mr Fryer.

“The village hall is a county council-owned property, but it is run by the village trust. We’re trying to find out who is ultimately legally responsible for it.

“I don’t believe councils and committees should be able to eject people of the grounds of their beliefs.

“Under the Equalities Act, no religious group can be ejected from a public building for what they believe in.

“We all live in the Mold area, so that is where we will look for somewhere to buy, so we can have a permanent place to meet.”

Until the group finds a new home it is meeting in Queensferry.

Keith Taylor, chairman of the Gwernymynydd Village Centre committee, disputes the claim the group was asked to leave on religious grounds.

He says Father’s House was monopolising the amenity at weekends, and says the committee decided it should be made more available to the wider community.

Mr Taylor said the group was offered an alternative slot on Sundays, but turned it down.

“Residents complained there was never any availability on Saturday afternoons because Father’s House were always there from 2.30-7pm, so no-one could ever use it,” he added.

“We gave the group six months notice to leave, but they never attended any meetings to discuss it.”