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Bideford Town Council to appeal prayer ban

By NDJNews  |  Posted: February 17, 2012

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BIDEFORD Town Council is to appeal against the High Court decision banning prayers from council agendas.

Councillors held an extraordinary meeting behind closed doors last night with the Manchester-based firm, Aughton Ainsworth, which represented them.

In a statement Bideford Town Council said: “Subject to confirmation that costs will be indemnified, the town council will appeal the judicial review decision.

“In the interim period, prayers will be removed from the agenda and said before the start of the main meeting.”

Former Bideford councillor and atheist, Clive Bone, and the National Secular Society took legal action against the town council claiming its actions were unlawful.

They won the case last week which meant councils across the country were forced to change their agendas.

The decision by Mr Justice Ouseley, sitting in London last Friday, was criticised by senior religious figures, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, and politicians – with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles describing it as “illiberal and intolerant”.

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  • merdrignac  |  February 17 2012, 10:29PM

    let's get it right. they're not being banned from saying prayers at all, just banned from saying prayers as part of official council business. And quite right too.

    |   5
  • Red_Diesel  |  February 17 2012, 8:28PM

    . Prayer helps councillors make the right decisions for their constituents. So if the committee is discussing, say, weekly or fortnightly bin collections, this is useful. Prayer leader: "Oh Lord, we pray for you to guide us in this difficult decision." The Lord: "Child, Eric Pickles has said that weekly collections are the right of every true born Englishman." Council Chair (A Tory): "So be it. Amen!" .

    |   2
  • Red_Diesel  |  February 17 2012, 8:23PM

    The vote was 11 to 5. Who were the eleven and who were the five? And what were their political parties? Can the NDJ please let us know?

    |   3
  • accom  |  February 17 2012, 7:44PM

    Heavenly Father, Please ensure that Bideford Town Council's appeal is rejected. Cheers. Amen.

    |   5
  • Helenka123  |  February 17 2012, 3:23PM

    I did laugh last night when the spotlight reporter announced that the group did not hold a prayer before their extraordinary meeting as they had important business to deal with!

    |   6
  • devonskye  |  February 17 2012, 2:02PM


    |   3
  • NDJNews  |  February 17 2012, 2:01PM

    He's a man who glued his fingers to his chin by accident.

    |   2
  • accom  |  February 17 2012, 1:57PM

    Who's the gentleman in the picture?

    |   2



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