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A Thinking Man's Audio Tweets - phlog (4862) image uploaded on 27-Jul-09
Broadcast 4 years ago
by A Thinking Man's Phlog

1 comment
Tags: Winscombe, Sandford, Parish

Local vicars in Winscombe and Sandford in Somerset have been pressing to have prayers reinstated at the beginning of Parish Council meetings, a month after they were dropped. The reason why they were dropped is not that the Parish Council wished to stop individuals talking to their imaginary friends in the privacy of their own homes, but that the Council had been advised that in the light of the forthcoming Equality Bill, Councils could no longer presume that prayers to a Christian God in business meetings would be acceptable by people of other faiths and of none. There is a difference between private and public space, and there is no longer unity of faith (if ever such was the reality) in the public space. It is interesting to see the reasons being argued for their re-introduction. It is not the the Parish Council members are declaring themselves as all being ardent or lapsed Christians who are significantly missing this additional public opportunity to commune with the alleged almighty. Neither is it being argued that the prayers held before the meetings were so blatantly efficacious that their absence has significantly contributed to a quantifiable deterioration in the service offered by the elected members. In fact, it could be argued that the supposed reason being argued for the reintroduction of prayers hardly qualifies as a reason at all, and is, in fact, more of a manipulative and irrelevant plea. The Rev Mike Slade — who is supported in his request by other clergy in the area — offered to lead prayers at the start of meetings, said: “At a time when our villages have suffered much through unexpected deaths, road traffic accidents as well as the enduring effects of the recession, your decision has added to people’s feeling of dismay and hurt. That can be changed quite simply and I pray that wisdom and common sense will prevail as you consider this request.”


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Local vicars in Winscombe and Sandford in Somerset have been pressing to have prayers reinstated at the beginning of Parish Council meetings, a month after they were dropped. The reason why they were dropped is not that the Parish Council wished to stop individuals talking to their imaginary friends in the privacy of their own homes, but that the Council had been advised that in the light of the forthcoming Equality Bill, Councils could no longer presume that prayers to a Christian God in business meetings would be acceptable by people of other faiths and of none. There is a difference between private and public space, and there is no longer unity of faith (if ever such was the reality) in the public space. It is interesting to see the reasons being argued for their re-introduction. It is not the the Parish Council members are declaring themselves as all being ardent or lapsed Christians who are significantly missing this additional public opportunity to commune with the alleged almighty. Neither is it being argued that the prayers held before the meetings were so blatantly efficacious that their absence has significantly contributed to a quantifiable deterioration in the service offered by the elected members. In fact, it could be argued that the supposed reason being argued for the reintroduction of prayers hardly qualifies as a reason at all, and is, in fact, more of a manipulative and irrelevant plea. The Rev Mike Slade — who is supported in his request by other clergy in the area — offered to lead prayers at the start of meetings, said: “At a time when our villages have suffered much through unexpected deaths, road traffic accidents as well as the enduring effects of the recession, your decision has added to people’s feeling of dismay and hurt. That can be changed quite simply and I pray that wisdom and common sense will prevail as you consider this request.”

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A Thinking Man's Audio Tweets - phlog (4862) image uploaded on 27-Jul-09
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Thanks, I found that thought provoking. Didn't realise church attendance had dropped to 6% in the UK. Impossible to justify seats in the House of Lords for C of E bishops, surely.

Posted by: 4 years ago

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