Dear Editor: We are greatly disappointed by city council’s decision to deny eight churches permission to use Margaret Bowater Park for ecumenical services.
The reason given is not adequate for the mere fact that other groups are able to book the park for regular weekly events such as the Sounds of Summer. Their other reason was that it would disruptive to other patrons using the park.
I’m sorry but how is free entertainment, a free barbecue and a collection of donations for our local food bank disruptive? We have used the Majestic Lawn and Sir Richard Squires parking lot in previous years without any known complaints. In actual fact, bystanders will often stop to listen and enjoy the food. Last year we raised $6,000 for our local food back (plus food donations that were dropped off) and $6,000 for the famine in Africa.
The previous year we raised $12,000 for the food bank in this city (once again not including food donations.) This is not an event for profit nor is it a fundraiser. We simply want to give back to the community that we love. This appears to us to be blatant discrimination against Christians.
The music provided is in no way offensive as some other music we have been subjected to at the park.
Why is it that any secular group can perform their music that has questionable lyrics which children will hear while we are prevented from providing a positive and family-oriented message once a week?
It is not a denominational event as eight churches from four different denominations are involved.
We have just as much right to use this park as anyone else does.
We have sent city council this letter and are asking them to reconsider their decision on this matter. We are also encouraging members from the eight churches involved to contact city councillors and make your displeasure known.
Penney Simms and Nancy Wiseman, Corner Brook