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West Coast Regional Council reinstates prayer at meetings

West Coast Regional Council reinstates prayer to start meetings

A bit of divine guidance never goes amiss — and the West Coast Regional Council will be now seeking it on a regular basis.

New chairman Allan Birchfield has reinstated the opening prayer for meetings, two years after it was done away with by a previous council.

Teh Creation of Adam from Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling frescos. Image via Wikimedia commons

The prayer asks the deity to guide members in their decisions and make them wise and just.

Mr Birchfield says although councillors might not all be religious, New Zealand was a Christian country, and Christian standards were good ones.

"We are moral people and people trust us to make wise decisions," he said.

Besides that, starting the meeting with a prayer focused everyone on the job at hand and reminded them why they were there, Mr Birchfield said.

The full text of the chairman's prayer reads: "Almighty and ever-living God in whose hands are the rights and hopes of all people, look graciously on us who govern. Guide us so that our counsels may be wise and our decisions just."

Regional councillors at last week's regional council meeting responded enthusiastically with what sounded like a unanimous "Amen".

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