It was with considerable sadness I read that Dorchester Town Council has taken what I believe to be a retrograde step in abolishing prayers before council meetings.

Ten Dorchester councillors have chosen to follow one man in another county who, for reasons known only to himself after being elected to a council, decided to change the rules he was elected under. If he or any others including Dorchester councillors do not like the rules of the council then why do they stand for election?

It is not a great example to set our children.

We are a democratic country and many seek to to be part of it as they respect and admire our core values and rules, so why destroy them? I also accept that not everyone believes in a God or practises the same religion. The prayers prior to a council meeting are to help the conduct and content of the meeting to be fair and honest and focus the mind.

It is to consider your fellow councillors, reminding you it may be difficult to agree with all but to be understanding and work for the people who elect you – how can anyone object to this?

I think it equally sad that the town mayor will no longer have a chaplain.

It is so important that the mayor or any other person in a position of huge responsibility has one person, a mentor, who they can speak with and trust who has no agenda only to help and support and who will never, like a doctor, divulge a word of any conversation, we all need this at times in our lives.

I have been pondering on this very subject for a while.

I do use some social media and listen to news, always available 24 hours a day, and find it an interesting event that when we have a disaster or tragedy thousands send messages saying ‘safe with God now’, ‘another angel in heaven’, etc.

This is often from people who would never regularly visit a church or admit to religion in any way.

This is fine and we who are involved in the church respect this and are happy we are able to keep the churches open for comfort and support or for the joy of a wedding or baptism. I think it sad that Councillor Richard Briggs finds there is no place for prayers and religious ceremony in council meetings in modern times.

I am glad I was young before modern times and progress over took us.

Margaret Morrissey Hessary Street Poundbury