Prayers come first?

I FEAR that John Hutchings (Letters, March 22) has missed the point I was trying to make.

No-one objects – I hope – to Christian councillors praying for guidance if they wish to do so.

But as a courtesy to others who don’t share their beliefs, this should take place before council meetings begin and not as part of their agenda. Surely that arrangement would suit all parties.

The question of exemptions on grounds of conscience is more complicated than Mr Hutchings implies.

Would he defend a Catholic shop assistant who refused to sell condoms?

Or a teetotaller shop assistant (perhaps a Muslim) who objected to handling alcohol?

Both these exemptions have been claimed recently, I understand, though not locally.

As Mr Hutchings will know well, the founder of Christianity told his disciples to expect persecution rather than special treatment for their beliefs.

Tim Hudson

Hawthorn Close, Chichester