Committee recommends prayers said before meeting

Posed photo of praying hands.'120216M-B411
Posed photo of praying hands.'120216M-B411

PRAYERS may continue to be said by members of Brackley Town Council, but will not form part of the official meetings.

On Monday councillors discussed changing the practice of putting prayers on the agenda of their monthly full council meetings after a High Court ruling which said Bideford Town Council in Devon was acting outside its authority by saying prayers during meetings.

Bridge Street resident Alexander Dutton spoke in a public session ahead of the debate in favour of the ban, while Reverand Anne Shorter of St Peters Church spoke out against it. Mr Dutton argued despite 54 per cent of people saying they were Christian, only 50 per cent of them considered themselves religious. He said prayers were unnecessary for the business of the council and could alienate some people.

Rev Shorter said prayers said by councillors with faith was a way of asking for God’s guidance, and watching others pray did no harm.