Prayers to continue at meeting

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KETTERING Council is continuing its practice of starting full council meetings with prayers despite a High Court ruling which suggested it was unlawful.

The well-publicised ruling was made by the court after the National Secular Society brought a successful case against Bideford Town Council in Devon.

But officers for Kettering Council say the authority can continue the practice because the prayer is not on the agenda for meetings.

Instead, councillors and members of the public are invited to join in the prayer.

Cllr Jonathan West said: “Because it is not on the agenda it is up to the individual if they take part.”

Cllr Ruth Groome said: “I am glad we will continue with prayers. I thank you all for taking the common sense approach.”

At Kettering Council meetings the councillors and members of the public are asked to stand as the mayor and appointed chaplain enter the room. The chaplain then reads a prayer.