Open-Air Mission contacted The Christian Institute for help after an official from Carlisle Council told Keith Bullock, one of their evangelists, that he could not hand out Christian literature in the city centre without their permission.
The Council claimed it was exercising legal powers that came into force the previous year – 2006. The new powers are aimed at preventing litter caused by large numbers of handbills handed out by nightclubs and other businesses. However, these laws do not apply to religious literature.
With the help of The Christian Institute, Open Air Mission Director Andy Banton wrote to the council pointing out the exemption for religious literature. The council responded immediately with an unconditional apology.
After the Council climbdown, Andy said, “We are grateful to The Christian Institute for helping us. It was their advice that has enabled us to resolve this issue so quickly and protect our freedom to proclaim the gospel.”