Religion and Belief
Court bans Council prayers
Christian prayers no longer allowed.
A long running court case on religion could have a major impact across the United Kingdom
The High Court has ruled that a Devon town council acted unlawfully by allowing prayers to be said before meetings.
Action was brought against Bideford Town Council by the National Secular Society (NSS) after atheist councillor Clive Bone complained.
Mr Justice Ouseley ruled the prayers were not lawful under section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972.
The judgement is being seen as a test case which could affect local councils across England and Wales.
Mr Justice Ouseley said the prayers were unlawful because there was no statutory power permitting the practice to continue.
However the case was not won on human rights grounds, but on a point of statutory construction of local government legislation.
Speaking after Friday’s outcome, Simon Calvert, of the Christian Institute, described the ruling as “bizarre”.
Yet again this case highlights the central importance of all organisations and businesses thinking about the role of religion and belief in their work and undertaking appropriate training in this area.
Please share with us your views on this issue.
Dr Donald Macaskill
Source: BBC News