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Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Local Government in action

After spending the early part of the afternoon in London, finalising details for the forthcoming conference of the Association of Priests for the Gospel of Life on 22 November at the London Oratory, I returned to return phone calls, open the post and await the arrival of the Mayor's limousine to pick me up, then the Mayor and Mayoress of Bexley, then the Deputy Mayor and the Deputy Mayoress, for this term's full Council meeting.

My only substiantial duty is to say prayers at the beginning of the Council meeting. However, the waiting time, the drinks beforehand and other opportunities give me a chance to meet some of the leading lights in Bexley personally, to understand a little more of their work and (DV) to bring the presence of Christ to this assembly.

There were matters of importance discussed such as the provision of Youth Services, the role of the Mayor of London in relation to local government, and the proposed closing of some local sheltered accommodation. The case against the latter was presented by a very well prepared delegation.

My prayer for the meeting was as follows:
Almighty everlasting God, whose wisdom and justice are boundless, look graciously upon the elected councillors, who represent the local communities which make up this Borough of Bexley, upon the officers who discharge their public duties, and upon all those who serve your people.

Look down upon us with a serene and gracious countenance. Grant us your abundant grace that all the deliberations and decisions at this meeting may be undertaken with prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance, for the common good of the people entrusted to our care. Through Christ our Lord.Amen.
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