Rev Roland Parsons

Christian man banned from displaying ‘Blood of Jesus’ banner on Speakers’ Corner

Sun 17 Nov 2019
By Tola Mbakwe

A Christian man who said he’s been preaching the gospel while displaying Christian banners at Speaker’s Corner for more than 20 years, said he has been banned from doing so.

Rev Roland Parsons, 72, said on 10th November, police officers told him he could not show his ‘Blood of Jesus Christ’ banner, which was fixed with rope to the side of his preaching stand.

Rev Parsons said two police officers informed him that he was violating the Royal Parks regulations banning the display of printed material. However, he said officers didn’t do anything about other large banners displayed in the area.

 

 “How can these words be a crime?’ Parsons told The Mail on Sunday. “There is nothing inflammatory or disrespectful about them.”

“I have come to Hyde Park at least once a month for 20 years to preach with my banner. I have never before been stopped by police but now suddenly I am told it is a crime.

“Speakers’ Corner is the bastion of free speech and this is my calling from God. Yet neither seems to matter to the authorities.”

Rev Roland Parsons

 

Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park is an area where open-air public speaking, debate, and discussion are allowed.

The Mail on Sunday said Metropolitan Police confirmed officers “spoke to a man who had attached a large banner to infrastructure in the park in contravention of regulations. He was asked to remove the banner, which he did.”

Rev Parsons has said he will take the matter to court.

Mike Phillips, legal adviser to Christian Concern, said: “If you are doing something which has been allowed for many years, and suddenly the authorities prohibit it, then arguably they are acting outside their powers.”

Rev Parsons, who ministered in the 1980s with the London-based Banner Carriers Association, said in a statement: "My Lord Jesus Christ, whom I serve, told me to display the Bible worded banners at Speakers’ Corner in 1987.

“That's my freedom of expression as a Christian. I am not now going to be able to come to Speakers’ Corner. The banner is me and I am the banner."

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