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Kidderminster shop owners say preachers could be hurting businesses
BUSINESS owners in Kidderminster town centre say they are concerned street preachers with microphones could be affecting their trade.
Helen Powell, who owns the Hair Salon Ltd based at Sempre Health and Beauty, opposite the Worcestershire Hub on Vicar Street, said Christian preachers had spent two-and-a-half hours outside her shop last Saturday.
She said the public singing and Bible reading had been a regular occurence for about two years.
A spokesman for Wyre Forest District Council said if there were no events at Kidderminster Town Hall or if the preachers were ‘not obstructing, jostling or annoying pedestrians or ignoring a police request to stop,’ there were no byelaw issues. A West Mercia Police spokeswoman said she was not aware of any recent complaints from shopkeepers about the problem.
Ms Powell said: “I think it is lovely if you have a faith and you can preach about it but it is hard enough keeping a business going at the moment.
“Being a hair and beauty salon, it is meant to be relaxing and how can it be relaxing if you have got someone standing outside with a microphone saying ‘this might be your last breath’ or talking about going to hell. It could be putting people off coming to the salon – you don’t know.”
She said the preachers could come once a month instead or move around the town.
Debbie Cox, of theSweet Jar, also on Vicar Street, said customers had complained to her about the preachers.
“We are quite lucky that people still come in for their sweets but people do not like it when they are coming into town,” she said. “I would like the preachers to be removed or moved.”
Wyre Forest town centres manager Peter Michael said: “We are considering what we can do but as a first stage I will try to talk to the preachers and ask them to be reasonable.”
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