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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2007, 15:26 GMT
Council axes prayers at meetings
A tradition of saying Christian prayers before a Devon town's council meetings has been axed.

The prayers have been replaced with a "quiet moment of reflection" to cater for councillors of all beliefs.

A local clergyman led prayers at the start of a Totnes Town Council meeting for the last time on Monday.

Mayor Pru Boswell said: "We are trying to reflect the different needs of different councillors. It is nothing to do with being politically correct."

She said: "We took the decision that rather than inviting a member of the church to come and lead us in prayer, that we would exchange it for a moment of quiet reflection when people can pray or meditate or reflect in their own way.

"Some of them are religious and some of them are not. Each to their own."

She said the council's work was being streamlined to "bring it into the 21st Century".

A council spokeswoman said it was also part of the council's efforts to become more business-like in meetings.


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