Pastor in unholy row with council over  church signs deemed advertising

first_imgMarshall The sign stands outside Rev Marshall’s churchCredit:Daily Post Wales A pastor in north-east Wales could face action over his eyebrow-raising church signs because the council considers them advertising.The Reverend Bob Marshall is a minister of the Ebenezer Baptist Chapel in Buckley, Flintshire. For years he has displayed messages outside his church, a brick chapel on a residential street. The sign Sometimes they are serious. One slogan read: “Too many people have a strong will and a weak will not.”Sometimes they are jocular, such as the message which told drivers to “Honk if you love Jesus: text while driveing (sic) if you want to meet him.”And on occasion they suggest Rev Marshall, a 71-year-old American from Indiana who has lived in Buckley for 30 years, still has work to do on his grasp of the British vernacular.Urging folks to temper their anger, he wrote in September: “Forgiveness is swallowing when you want to spit,” before one parishioner pointed out the message’s sexual connotations.Now, though, Rev Marshall has been told by his local authority that he must obtain advertisement consent for the signs if he is not to face action.center_img Rev Marshall, 71, is from IndianaCredit:Daily Post Wales The Daily Post reported that he has received a letter from the council ordering the signs to be removed unless he complies.According to the council, the board, which is placed on the pavement outside the church, is advertising. In his letter, a council official said that “it would appear no consent has been sought or granted”, and that “enforcement action” could follow.Rev Marshall claims that the signs, which he updates every week, are not advertising. “We are a church, not a business and these are not adverts and it is on our property,” he told the Post.“I don’t understand why the council has asked me to do this now, I have been doing it for a few years,” he said, calling the action “petty.”Andrew Farrow, the council’s chief planning and environment officer, said: “We would welcome further discussions with Reverend Marshal and we will be contacting him with a view to resolving the situation.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img

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