04/15/2016 12:38 EDT | Updated 04/15/2017 05:12 EDT

Park Royal's Chess Ban Doesn't Make Sense: B.C. Church Minister

A food court is no place for chess, according to a West Vancouver mall. via Getty Images
Senior man playing chess outdoor

VANCOUVER — A Vancouver-area church has more than just prayers planned in support of longtime chess players ousted from their regular gathering place inside a shopping mall food court.

The West Vancouver Presbyterian Church is planning a peaceful sit-in at Park Royal shopping centre following its usual Sunday service on May 1 to protest the mall's decision to ban players who linger.

Entrance of West Vancouver's Park Royal mall. (Photo: Google Streetview screengrab)

Minister Glenn Inglis says it doesn't make sense for management to forbid what he calls a harmless activity that promotes a sense of community and doesn't interfere with business.

Inglis says it's hard enough to find places in West Vancouver where people can gather freely and share in fellowship.

The church has reached out to another place of worship in the city to ask if its congregation would like to participate in the sit-in.

Chess enthusiasts, including West Vancouver Presbyterian Church member Terry Fellows, have been playing the so-called "royal game" at Park Royal for decades.

Park Royal could not immediately be reached for comment.

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