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Adelaide City Council Axes Reading Of A Christian Prayer At Meetings

by | Fri, May 12 2023

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A Christian prayer will no longer be read out aloud at the start of Adelaide City Council meetings.

But it remains on the agenda and will still be put up on a screen for councillors to read.

There will be a ten second pause at the commencement of meetings to allow for a reflection on the prayer or something else.

The Adelaide Advertiser reports Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith effectively avoided a debate on the contentious issue.

Under the Lord Mayor’s tweak of the procedure the Council CEO will no longer read out the prayer.

It had said: Let us Pray. Almighty God we ask for your blessing upon the works of the City of Adelaide, direct and prosper its deliberations to the advancement of your glory and the true welfare of the people of this city, Amen.

A proposal to scrap the prayer entirely prompted a flood of complaints and a petition from Christian groups.

Adelaide Catholic Archdiocese Vicar General Fr Dean Marin observed: “Much will be lost if it (the prayer) is omitted”.

“Prayer is important. In decision making, this broader perspective beyond ourselves, clarifies our thinking and our actions, frees us from self-centred reactions, and opens us up to others,” he said

Dr. Lomax-Smith’s decision to axe the reading of the prayer means there’ll be no change to current standing orders.

It had been proposed to also scrap a moment of silence for war veterans and an acknowledgment of former Surveyor-General Colonel William Light who designed the city.

But they remain in place along with the Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Meeting.