At last weeks Full Council Meeting we had a debate, by accident really following a minute refered to council recomending the inclusion of prayers in the main body agenda of council meetings.
The minute sparked some debate on the matter as we knew that it would given the fact that three or four councillors leave the room during prayers and return at the end of the prayer.
The councillors in question attribute their decision to leave the room to not qishing to be seen as hypocritical. They say: “How can you ask the lord for guidance and sound judgement when you have already made all the decisions that you are about to make”
They also say that politics and religion and politics ahould never meet. To this I say: Politics and religion met in the bible. At our Parish Civic Service in Sandiacre, the Reverend Olaf Trelenberg delivered a reading from the book of Numbers. Numbers 11: 4-6, 10-16, 24; refers to God creating a council like group of people to aid Moses.
In the case of prayers at the begining of the council meeting; I personally ask god for wise counsel and for sound judgement. I pray for the residents of the borough and for fellow people in authority across the nation.
I understand the view that at the moment we have prayers that are not part of the formal meeting but by incorporating the prayer a the begining of the agenda, I feel that we are showing respect to the council, the queen as head of the church of england and the Worshipful the Mayor, who in the absence of the High Sherrif is of course the Queen’s representative in the Borough.
As a member of the Conservative Christian Fellowship and a committed Christian, I feel very strongly about this subject and indeed the area of Politics versues religion has been a research interest of mine for a long time.
During the full council we heard from Cllr Kewal Singh Athwal, a Sikh and a former Mayor of the Borough. Cllr Athwal advocated the practise of Christian Prayer in Council Meetings as a sign of solidarity in a predominantly Christian Country.
David Cameron has said today in Prime Ministers Questions that we are a multi cultural, multi racial and multi relgious country because of our Christrian Predominance not inspite of it. Because we as conservatives and Christians are tolerant of other peoples beliefs and other cultures, we believe in equality of oportunity and that is what makes us British.