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Jane Lomax-Smith and Henry Davis (Adelaide City Council)

After four months of debate, the Adelaide City Council has ended controversy over the Christian prayer that has been traditionally read before every meeting. Source: The Advertiser.

Adelaide Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith has effectively silenced the controversy by merging the traditional commemorative silence to pay tribute to war veterans with the prayer.

On Tuesday night, Councillor Henry Davis – who has protested the change by reciting aloud a Christian prayer – was awkwardly silenced by the new move.

Without warning, Dr Lomax-Smith at Tuesday night’s meeting requested religious reflection, but at the same time as the traditional silence for veterans, forcing Cr Davis to remain silent.

“I now ask members to take a moment of quiet contemplation of the gravity and implications of our decision-making in a manner appropriate to their beliefs,’’ she said of the change.

“Furthermore, I ask all those present to stand in silence in memory of those who gave their lives in defence of their country, at sea, on land and in the air.”

The battle of wills started when the council administration in February suggested a change to the lengthy meeting preamble process, including dumping the prayer.

The move was rejected but Dr Lomax-Smith has been finding ways around the problem using her powers, instead of changing rules.

Councillor Davis continued to protest for his rights following the new manoeuvre on Tuesday night.

He has maintained it is his Christian practice to recite a prayer and has only done so in keeping with his faith.

“The Mayor might dislike religion, but these traditions shouldn’t be swept under the carpet without the consent of the chamber and discussion with our community.”


Adelaide Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith silences Christian prayer protest  (By Miles Kemp, The Advertiser)