MP defends Christian prayers in Parliament

A Christian MP says Parliament should not cave to pressure from humanists eager to do away with its daily prayers.

Humanists UK say the time of prayer is discriminatory because it allows MPs who attend to reserve a seat in the House of Commons.

Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay, opposed the idea, saying the prayers are to “remind ourselves why we’re there and ask for God’s help and strength and guidance as we go about our business for the day”.

Christian Heritage

Mr Double said: “I think we have seen an erosion of the Christian heritage and foundation of our nation quite enough, as far as I’m concerned.

“We still recognise the Christian heritage of our country in Parliament in a number of ways, prayers is only one of those ways”.

He added that it is important to maintain “that sense, that daily reminder, that we are a nation that is very much built on Christian values and a very strong Christian heritage and we are very much building on that foundation from our history”.


Last year, Denbighshire Council in Wales refused to remove prayers from its meetings, despite pressure from the National Secular Society.

The councillors cited a legal case involving Bideford Town Council in Devon, where The Christian Institute defended the council’s right to conduct prayers.

At the time High Court ruled that public bodies do not need to be secular in order to comply with equality and human rights law.