Prayers No Longer Said To Begin Somerset Council Meetings

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: October 30, 2009

A Somerset Parish Council ended a 115-year tradition of saying Christian prayers at the beginning of its meeting after receiving a complaint.

In October 2009, Winscombe and Sandford Parish Council decided to end a 115-year tradition of saying Christian prayers at the start of its meeting after a local resident wrote to express her shock at being asked to stand for prayers at a meeting, BBC reports.

Since 1894, councilors has opened its monthly meeting with a short religious verse, ThisIsBristol reports. But the custom has been scrapped after a letter from one constituent labeled it “inappropriate and unacceptable in a multi-ethnic society.” Seven councilors voted in favour of banning prayers, while three were against and three abstained.

A spokesman for the Council said the council was for all the community not just Christians. Reverend Mike Slade, vicar of the parish, said that in this case Christians are “discriminated against.” The Observatory considers the keeping of long standing traditions as doing justice to the historical and cultural identity of a region.


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