Cirencester Town Council votes to scrap prayer

COUNCILLORS in Cirencester have voted to scrap opening their meetings with a prayer.

Town councillors supported the motion at their monthly meeting last week in a bid to make it more inclusive.

Cllr Gary Selwyn said when he attended his first council meeting he felt excluded from the minute it started because of the prayer.

He added: "I believe prayers will be outlawed in council meetings. If we want to include people from all five wards having a pledge might be the way forward."

Cllr Shirley Alexander supported the idea: "This level of local government is steeped in Christian tradition but I don't think what we're suggesting here would take that away."

Cllr John Hughes added: "It's important to recognise that even in Cirencester we have people of many different faiths. I want to see more people arriving here for our meetings."

But mayor Cllr Andy Lichnowski said the payer was already non-denominational, while Cllr Geoffrey Adams, who wrote the original prayer, said keeping it still seemed reasonable.

Instead Cllr Adams proposed they begin meetings with a pledge, which used the same wording as the original prayer but omitted "Lord" and "Amen". He said: "I would have thought that was a happy compromise."

Members voted in favour of his recommendation but five councillors abstaining from the vote.

Do you think Cirencester Town Council was right to drop its prayer? Let us know by taking part in our ballot.

Comments (6)

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6:48am Sat 15 Oct 11

Pentheus says...

An alternative to prayers at the commencement of a Council meeting could be " I promise to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me " omitting the word God at the end in order to not offend anyone of a sensitive nature ........
An alternative to prayers at the commencement of a Council meeting could be " I promise to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me " omitting the word God at the end in order to not offend anyone of a sensitive nature ........ Pentheus

9:48am Sat 15 Oct 11

Alvin Sepert says...

If not a prayer how about.. "Lord, what fools these mortals be!"
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Act 3 scene 2
If not a prayer how about.. "Lord, what fools these mortals be!" William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Act 3 scene 2 Alvin Sepert

10:58am Sat 15 Oct 11

Crispin Mount says...

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good" Thomas Paine 1757-1809 The Rights of Man...a simple motto which all Councillors and MPs should adopt.
"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good" Thomas Paine 1757-1809 The Rights of Man...a simple motto which all Councillors and MPs should adopt. Crispin Mount

11:40am Mon 17 Oct 11

Susie Clark says...

I see the new Lib Dem town council is tackling the really big issues first - whether or not to have prayers at its meetings. Perhaps the next "really big idea" is whether or not to ban the sale of Easter Eggs in Cirencester sweet shops.
By the way, whatever happened to extra hours of CCTV now that the Town Council has taken it over - funny, don't seem to have heard much about that since the election - it definitely appeared on Joe Harris's manifesto leaflet. Strangely, banning prayers didn't.
I see the new Lib Dem town council is tackling the really big issues first - whether or not to have prayers at its meetings. Perhaps the next "really big idea" is whether or not to ban the sale of Easter Eggs in Cirencester sweet shops. By the way, whatever happened to extra hours of CCTV now that the Town Council has taken it over - funny, don't seem to have heard much about that since the election - it definitely appeared on Joe Harris's manifesto leaflet. Strangely, banning prayers didn't. Susie Clark

3:53pm Mon 17 Oct 11

HotPress says...

Headline is grammatically incorrect...Councill
ors Votes to scrap prayer.

Councillors Vote it should read, not votes.

Uh oh.
Headline is grammatically incorrect...Councill ors Votes to scrap prayer. Councillors Vote it should read, not votes. Uh oh. HotPress

6:33am Thu 20 Oct 11

Pentheus says...

Susie your correct in your assumption re the Market Place garden sheds the Town Council did buy them . They are being stored and if you add in the compo they had to pay to GCC and CDC for nicking the Market Place's parking area you get an annual recurring bill of £8411, plus the initial cost of the sheds. The Town Council very kindly settled an argument for me as I had a bet that no Council could possibly do such a thing .... I was wrong ...... (maybe thats why you havnt got CCTV because the Town Council spent it on hacking off all the business rate paying shop keepers losing Christmas trade with the garden shed caper)
Susie your correct in your assumption re the Market Place garden sheds the Town Council did buy them . They are being stored and if you add in the compo they had to pay to GCC and CDC for nicking the Market Place's parking area you get an annual recurring bill of £8411, plus the initial cost of the sheds. The Town Council very kindly settled an argument for me as I had a bet that no Council could possibly do such a thing .... I was wrong ...... (maybe thats why you havnt got CCTV because the Town Council spent it on hacking off all the business rate paying shop keepers losing Christmas trade with the garden shed caper) Pentheus

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