Monday, 24 June 2013
South Yorkshire - 'Noisy white-robed religious sect' keeps residents awake with prayers and chanting at 5.30am in the woods
The Barnsley housing estate community of South Yorkshire has been left tired and stressed after being woken at 5.30am by a white robed religious sect praying and chanting in woodland behind their homes.
Loud: Residents on a Barnsley housing estate have complained about the early-morning noise made by a white robed religious sect Friday Apostles
The robed individuals are Learnard Radzokota and his Christian group the Friday Apostles, and they regularly go into the trees to pray and chant at 5.30am.
Now some residents of New Lodge estate have written to Yorkshire Housing, Mr Radzokota's landlord, to complain about the disturbance.
Mr Radzokota, 54, who lives on the estate, said most people wanted to understand more about the Friday Apostles when they were revealed as the mystery worshippers.
But, he added: 'However others just wrote letters to Yorkshire Housing saying because of the praying in the wood, and at our house, we need to be removed from our accommodation.'
Early risers: Friday Apostles worshipers led by Learnard Radzokota known as Father Isaiah, far left, pray in woodland behind a Barnsley estate
Mr Radzokota, known as Father Isaiah, said the group didn’t really have a choice but to pray outdoors, because they have no building to worship in.
'As we do no not have a permanent place to worship in Barnsley, we sometimes carry our our early morning prayers in the wilderness.
'In Africa, all out church members carry out their services in the open space, commonly called wilderness, because by praying in the wilderness we are close to nature and God,' he said.
Celia Casham, of Yorkshire Housing, said it firmly supports the right of people to worship the way they choose.
She said: 'However, it was brought to our attention that religious meetings hosted by Mr Radzokota, at his home, had been causing a level of noise which has affected his neighbours at various times of the day.
'We are keen to work with Mr Radzokota and his neighbours to find a compromise which suits both parties.
'We have been trying to help Mr Radzokota find a more suitable venue for his religious meetings such as a local community centre or church hall.'