Four years of Sunday services and evening practices proved too much for neighbours of the New Generation Church in David Lane, Old Basford, Nottingham, whose pastor has now paid the price.
In perhaps one of the strangest court cases of recent times, Pastor Sean Samuel pleaded guilty to noise nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act and was sentenced to a total fine of £360, as well as costs of £300 and a £15 victim surcharge.
The complaints against his and his congregation’s preaching, amplified music and singing were numerous over the four years in question and railed against a level of noise that was so loud and frequent that it amounted, they said, to torture.
Kris Ambler who lives just across from the church had a noise monitoring device installed in his home to help the council secure the prosecution.
“It’s not a religion issue, it’s a noise issue,” he said. “It’s about our quality of life and this noise became almost torture.
“It’s a huge relief to see the church actually be fined. I feel vindicated and I’m pleased the local authority have done something and the court has agreed.
Some commentators have been left astounded at the fines and can only hope that, should the Church be no longer able to continue its good work, a club in the style of the late ‘Mass’ nightclub in Brixton replaces it and truly puts the fear of God into the complainers.