Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Curious Report About Council Prayer Meetings

From the Littlehampton Gazette:-
Christians and community figures have vowed that a High Court decision to outlaw the centuries-old tradition of formal prayers being said at the start of local council meetings is not be the end of the matter.
Mr Justice Ouseley, sitting in London, ruled local councils lacked power under section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972 to hold prayers "as part of a formal local authority meeting".
However it was lawful for prayers to be said "in a local authority chamber before a formal meeting", provided councillors were not "formally summoned to attend".
John Breeds, mayor of Rye in East Sussex, said he expects councillors at Rye Town Council will now just say prayers ahead of their meetings.
He said: "We will try to find a way around it. It doesn't actually have to be part of the meeting. Presumably if we can't say prayers at the beginning of the meeting proper, then we will just have to say them beforehand.
So, your "way around it" is to follow the law? Oh.. kay...
The mayor of Folkestone in Kent, Sue Wallace, said she was "astounded" by the decision.
She said: "I think it should be down to the individual to decide. Soon we won't be able to decide anything.
"I'm sure there are lots of other councils all over the country that will feel the same way as I do."
Uh yes, that was the point. That the individual could decide because until this ruling, the individual couldn't decide. If they were a councillor, they either had to attend prayers or to be marked as late.

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