Prayers Are Back On The Agenda At Cornwall Council
It has been a turbulent few months for the subject of prayers being part of the formal agenda at council meetings. The High Court ruled against prayers being included in an agenda under the Local Government Act 1972. Then, The Localism Act trumped that ruling by allowing council’s if they wish to have prayers included on the council agenda.
This point of should prayers be or not part of the agenda for the full meeting of Cornwall Council. Over 29 Councillors spoke during this debate, with the majority of those speakers supportive of prayer’s being part of the council agenda.
I have blogged before about being apathetic towards religion and can see both sides viewpoint. The one point I disagreed with in the original motion was prayers should be only Christian. I feel if we should have prayers they should be fully inclusive of the people we represent. I therefore, put in an amendment seconded by John Pollard and is as follows (option 3 in the agenda):
“Commence a practice of saying prayers of different religions on a rotational basis as part of the formal agenda for Council meetings.”
I felt this was a sensible solution to allow other faiths to have the ability if they wanted to be able to take part in prayers. My motion was narrowly defeated, and the vote was carried for Christian (only) prayers to be part of the formal agenda.
This resolution will no doubt have an impact on many other local authorities throughout England and Wales. As many will now follow Cornwall Council’s lead and re-introduce prayers post the High Court Bideford judgement.
It will be interesting to see if any legal challenge will come post the decision at todays Cornwall Council meeting.