Crowd gathers at GraceLife Church on first Sunday after closure

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More than one hundred supporters for a church near Edmonton are gathered outside the property on the first Sunday after it was closed down for violating public COVID-19 health orders.

The range road in front of GraceLife Church, located off Highway 627 about 5 km west of the Edmonton city limits, has been closed to traffic. RCMP has several vehicles and officers in the area.

Alberta Health Services “physically closed” and prohibited access to the building on Wednesday. AHS staff and police erected fencing that day, and there has been a police presence at the church since. The health authority said the closure will remain in effect until the church shows it can comply with current health restrictions.

AHS issued a closure order in January after finding several of the church’s Sunday services breached current public health guidelines that limit worship services to 15 per cent of capacity. The church was also found to be in violation of orders ensuring everyone wears a mask and for physical distancing between households.

Crowds have been seen entering the church each Sunday for the past several months while the parking lot has been filled with vehicles.

More to come.

dshort@postmedia.com

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