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3 charged, 6 to be fined following Sunday service at Aylmer, Ont., church

Three people are facing criminal charges and six others will be issued provincial offence tickets after a large gathering at the Church of God in Aylmer, Ont., on Sunday.

Criminal charges include assault and obstructing police

Pastor Henry Hildebrandt delivers a sermon from the pulpit at the Church of God in Aylmer, Ont., on April 25, 2021. (Pastor Henry Hildebrandt/YouTube)

Three people are facing criminal charges and six others will be issued provincial offence tickets after a large gathering at the Church of God in Aylmer, Ont., on Sunday.

Police say more than 100 people attended the service, despite a provincial order that limits indoor religious gatherings to 10 people.

A 20-year-old man from Perth East Township has been charged with obstructing police and a 48-year-old man from Perth East has been charged with assault after allegedly charging at a reporter.

An arrest warrant has been issued for a 52-year-old woman from Shakespeare on a charge of obstructing police. The names of those charged have not been released.

Aylmer police chief Zvonko Horvat says although dozens of people attended the church service Sunday, police are focusing their efforts on identifying the leaders.

"What we're looking at is those persons that are actively participating in organizing the actual event itself and those that have been identified as delivering the messages at the service," said Horvat.

"We feel that those individuals are the ones responsible ultimately for the service to be held and would consider them to be the most egregious under the circumstances."

Independent MPP Randy Hillier, MP Derek Sloan and London nurse Kristen Nagle, all known for their stances against the province's COVID-19 measures, were among those seen at the Church of God at Aylmer, Ont., during Sunday service. (The Church of God at Aylmer/Facebook)

MPP Randy Hillier and MP Derek Sloan (both former Conservatives who now sit as Independents) were among those who took to the pulpit during the service Sunday, along with former London, Ont., neonatal nurse Kristen Nagle, who was fired from her job after organizing anti-lockdown protests. Horvat has not said whether they were among the people who are being charged.

More information is expected to be released after the charges have been finalized.

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