National Secular Society say "There are many — maybe even the majority — of local councils in this country that start their meetings with Christian prayers. Non-believers and those of other religions are put in the embarrassing position of wondering whether to participate or pointedly not participate. It is intolerable that elected representatives should be put through this in carrying out their duty. A typical reaction to their protests is that they are told they can leave the chamber during prayers and return. NSS are not seeking to restrict freedom of worship. If some Council members wish to pray, there is no problem with them doing so before Council meetings. But this should be separate from the meetings and preferably not in the same room, so that those arriving for the meeting are not inconvenienced."
NSS have been working on this campaign for some months and after complaints from councillors, top lawyers working on behalf of the NSS have sent a letter to one council advising them that prayers during council meetings are in conflict with human rights provisions. The council is currently considering our lawyers’ letter and we will publish deatils of the outcome shortly.
NSS now need to know which councils are including prayers in their meetings and which aren’t. We need supporters to enquire whether their district, town, parish and county council meetings include prayers. Dorset Humanists have already provided information to NSS on Bournemouth Borough Council, Dorset County Council, New Milton Town Council & North Dorset District Council.
If you can you provide information about your local Dorset Council contact NSS in the format requested.
Welcome to Dorset Humanists
Dorset Humanists is a welcoming group for humanists, atheists and agnostics who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. We meet in Bournemouth for informative and enjoyable presentations, debates and discussions on a wide range of subjects including ethics, science, religion, philosophy, politics, our environment and much more. We also organise regular social events.