LONDON, ONT. -- When an Aylmer, Ont. church held another drive-in service on Sunday it sparked strong opinions on physical distancing, essential services and safe gatherings.

The congregants were in their cars with the windows rolled up listening to the service through a low-wattage FM radio signal.

“There was no interaction before, during or after,” says Henry Hildebrant, pastor of the Church of God.

London lawyer Nick Cake was among those in a car at the church, and is now waiting to hear whether charges will be laid for breaking the Ontario Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act (OEMCPA).

"Aylmer police videotaped the service, they've made it clear they will forward it to the county prosecutor," says Cake, an experienced criminal defence lawyer at Millars Law Company.

"The police see this as a gathering. A gathering involves interacting between people, like the shaking of hands and touching. It doesn’t involved cars in a parking lot completely isolated from any other vehicle."

The Facebook comments on a CTV News story Sunday ranged from people believing what the Church of God is doing is fine, to others wanting them punished for breaking the current provincial guidelines.

Cake believes this is a case of public order versus public safety.

"Members of the same household piling into a care to listen to the radio. I think it should be allowed,” he says.

"I quite frankly do think it is allowed. The fight is that it is allowed because it doesn't fall within the confines of the law."

The green light to hold services like this was just given in New Brunswick. As of Friday, religious groups there can hold outdoor services as the province starts to relax its COVID-19 restrictions.

"As an alternative to online worship, religious organizations can hold outdoor services if parishioners stay in their vehicles at all times, and the vehicles are spaced two metres apart," said Premier Blaine Higgs.

Reverend Michael Bechard of Christ the King University Parish in London, Ont. says this pandemic has been hard on all faith leaders in the community, but says he is following the province's lead of asking to limit gatherings of five people or less.

"I believe, as does the scripture, one of the things we are meant to do is cooperate with government," says Bechard, a lecturer who is also the director of campus ministry at King’s University College.

"Not only do we pray for [the government] and their well-being and we also seek their guidance and support. Right now it’s important for all of us to stay home and safe, so when we do gather again together, nobody from our community is going to be missing."

Bechard adds that not being able to gather in a traditional way allows him to explore different ways in which we can celebrate our identity as church.

"I don’t think limiting ourselves for a couple months is going to lead to the destruction of any of our communities."

Cake says that if charges are laid, they won't stop fighting because they don't believe the church is doing anything illegal.

"From a criminal law standpoint, under the OEMCPA, the church is not violating that statute by doing what they are doing."