Councillors vote to fight prayer ban

Bideford Town Council will challenge High Court ruling.

BIDEFORD Town Council has voted to appeal a High Court decision banning prayers during council meetings.

At an extraordinary meeting called in the town last night (Thursday), councillors decided by 10 votes to three to fight the ruling.

It is understood that The Christian Institute has agreed to stump up the cash to enable the council to mount the challenge.

The move follows last Friday’s landmark ruling in a judicial review brought by the National Secular Society (NSS) to test the law.

This morning the NSS, Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the NSS said: “We were expecting this decision from Bideford, and our lawyers remain confident we have a strong case that will survive an appeal.

“While those with vested interests have been predictably critical of our victory, we have been overwhelmed with the messages of support from the public and from councillors all over the country who are resentful that they are subjected to prayers, sermons and homilies when they come to the town hall to conduct council business.”

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The judgement followed a complaint by former Bideford councillor Clive Bone, who said he felt uncomfortable about being subjected to prayers while undertaking his duties.

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