Response mixed to council prayer axe
PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 October 2019
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Readers have responded to news North Somerset Council has voted to scrap saying prayers before its meetings.
Cllr Caritas Charles proposed the motion on September 24 and wanted to 'give a voice to our wider community'.
He said: "North Somerset is a vibrant and diverse community, we should be celebrating our diversity and inclusivity.
"In a world where we seem to be driven to divide and hate each other, the current arrangement of prayers does not give a voice to our wider community.
"Although we are a majority Christian district we have a plethora of faiths represented.
"We are also a changing district in changing times and we need to reflect that."
Calls to open the floor to other faiths and community groups were described as 'comfortable but meaningless'.
Cllr John Crockford-Hawley said the motion 'missed the point'
He said: "For those of a religious persuasion, prayer is indeed important, for agnostics, it's questionable, and for those who are atheists, it's pointless.
"I think this motion misses the point because the prayer itself has morphed into a ritual.
"I know a small number of Muslims and not one of them has ever expressed concern about Christian prayers at the start of meetings.
"It seems greater offence is taken by those without faith than those with it."
Many took to social media to share their views.
Lesley Taylor said: "I don't think it should be stopped but if it is it's up to the individual to decide whether or not they do their own private prayers - God is listening constantly."
Bex Lynch commented: "That should never have been a thing. Nice to be reminded that we have so little clue of what goes on or gets discussed in these meetings, we just foot the bill."
Vicky Palmer added: "It should be a secular space. People can worship whatever religion they belong to at an alternative location. If people need to pray while there then a separate space can be provided that caters for whatever religion they belong to."
John Turner moaned: "Slowly but surely all our country's values and traditions are being erased, while we bend over backwards for everyone else's beliefs."
Joe Pattison joked: "What about the witch burning, are they still going to keep that going?"