Threats made against Woolwich church that ignored COVID-19 lockdown

The Trinity Bible Chapel in Woolwich, Ont. @TrinityBibleChapel / Instagram

Waterloo Regional Police say they are investigating recent threatening messages that have been made against members of the Trinity Bible Chapel in Woolwich, Ont., as well as to the church itself.

Police did not specify what the emails said, though they said the messages did threaten harm to the church and members.

Read more: Woolwich pastor faces fine of up to $100,000 for Sunday service ignoring COVID-19 lockdown

The threats were sent on Jan. 25 and Feb. 1.

“Waterloo Regional Police remind the public that any threat of violence or intimidation will be taken seriously, and the authors of these threats will be held accountable,” police warned in a statement.

Trinity Bible Chapel has come into the spotlight as it has opened numerous times in spite of the COVID-19 lockdown that began across the province on Dec. 26, 2020.

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Waterloo Regional Police chief Bryan Larkin recently estimated there were between 300 and 600 people at the Woolwich church as it remained open.

Waterloo Region bylaw officers laid nine provincial offence charges against the church and parishioners following that incident.

Waterloo Region spokesperson TJ Miller told Global News in an email that five elders, pastor Jacob Reaume and the Trinity Bible Chapel corporation were charged under the Reopening Ontario Act.

Read more: Doug Ford issues warning to Woolwich church: ‘there will be consequences’

“The Region of Waterloo has also charged the pastor and one elder under Ontario Regulation 82/20 for attending a gathering of more than 10,” Miller said.

If convicted of hosting or organizing an in-person gathering of more than 10 people, the pastor and the elder each face a fine of between $10,000 and $100,000.

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Provincial charges were also laid by Waterloo Regional Police officers or the region’s bylaw officers on two other occasions.

In addition, the church and its members also violated a court injunction when it opened its doors last time.

“Church services were held at Trinity Bible Chapel on Sunday, January 24, 2021, despite the injunction order,” a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office told Global News in an email.

“On January 27, 2021, the motion for contempt proceeded. The Court made findings of contempt against all Respondents, with reasons to follow.”

Sentencing for the matter will take place in February.

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