SOME may say it's outdated, or that it has no place in government proceedings, but the prayer is here to stay at Bathurst Regional Council meetings.
Councils across the country have made moves to remove a prayer from the order of business at meetings, with Wagga Wagga City Council one of the latest to propose to remove the opening prayer.
But Bathurst Regional Council, which says a prayer at the beginning of ordinary meetings, is unlikely to follow the trend.
Its draft Code of Meeting Practice, a document that was recently on public exhibition, still includes a prayer as part of its order of business and mayor Graeme Hanger said that council has "no intention of removing the prayer".
The Western Advocate asked a number of councillors where they stood on the issue, with all of them saying they supported the inclusion of the prayer on the agenda.
Councillor Alex Christian was adamant it should stay.
"I support keeping the prayer. We are moving closer and closer to a Godless society and it's not a good thing in my opinion," he said.
"Currently there is an attack on Christianity specifically worldwide and I am sick of it.
"I'm a traditionalist, I suppose, and it reflects my personal values."
Both councillors Warren Aubin and Monica Morse said they liked the tradition of the prayer and would prefer to see it remain part of council meetings.
"I think I'd rather keep it, in the sense that tradition is always a good thing," Cr Morse said, adding that the prayer was "not offensive".
Cr Jess Jennings, who identifies as agnostic, said he didn't mind the prayer, but acknowledged that some people may feel differently.
"I'm personally agnostic but have a healthy respect for the good parts of Christendom that have progressed society over the last few millennia, so on those grounds I don't mind actually saying the prayer prior to meetings because it adds to a sense of tradition and custom in the chamber," he said.
"Having said that, I also recognise the church hasn't been everyone's best friend in many instances and were the prayer to be removed from proceedings I wouldn't protest either.
"But if it was removed we would need a replacement ritual that signifies council and councillors' common purpose and the greater community good."
The specific prayer is a "historical item", Cr Hanger said. It's worded as follows:
Almighty God, Give wisdom to those in authority and guide all peoples in the way of righteousness and peace, so that we may share with justice the resources of the earth, work together in trust and seek the common good. Amen.