THE Bishop of Exeter has warned of a bid to drive religion out of the public eye.
The Rt Rev Michael Langrish, was speaking after a test case to outlaw prayers before local council meetings was won by the National Secular Society and an atheist councillor.
They challenged the practice of Bideford Town Council of having religious prayers on meeting agendas.
Bishop Langrish said he was entirely against the spirit in which the Secular Society had brought the case to law.
He said: "Their agenda is to inch by inch drive religion out of the public sphere. There is a wider issue to be resisted because what is at stake is how we see ourselves in society."
He stressed that the case was a "narrow judgment" regarding statutory law and that people simply had to make a choice of what they opted into or out off.
He added: "Every time there is a survey of religious beliefs in this country, around 70 per cent of the population profess a faith and to saying private prayers."