Devon

Mount Olive Ministries church built without permission

Image caption Pastor Paul Knights said God had told him to build the church

A Christian minister who built a church in Devon without planning permission said he was glad someone reported him to the local council.

Pastor Paul Knights built Mount Olive Ministries church next to his Christmas tree plantation outside Torquay more than a decade ago.

The church attracts about 50 worshippers a week.

Teignbridge District Council planning officers are due to make a decision about the building shortly.

Pastor Knights said God had told him to build the church.

He told BBC Spotlight: "The Lord confirmed that he wanted the building built so we started building.

"I just felt that I needed to build and cross that bridge when it came.

"Somebody reported us, well I just want to say 'thank you' to that person.

"It's time to come out of the cave and if the Lord has used that person to report me then I say 'praise the Lord'."

Teignbridge District Council said if a building had been in place for four years or more a developer could apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness to stay there.

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