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Town council seek to make Civic Service more inclusive

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Town council seek to make Civic Service more inclusive MELKSHAM Town Council is questioning the current format of the town’s Civic Service, wanting to make it more inclusive for all people in the town, including different faiths. 

The council admit that they have been struggling with the town’s Civic Service, held in St Michael and All Angels’ Church each year, as the staff are putting in a lot of work, for very little response from the town.

During the Annual Town Meeting on Monday 3rd September, councillors discussed the future of the service, agreeing that it needs a whole new re-think in order for the celebration to be more inclusive and entice more people to join in.

Cllr Hayley Spencer-Illman said, “It is the  annual celebration of our town and community, but my personal opinion is that it is not appropriate to be held in a church as it is  not inclusive of the whole town. 

“I’m  not being offensive to churches, they  do a great job every year, but there are many other ways to include more of our community.”

Deputy mayor, cllr Jon Hubbard agreed, “Rather than having an inclusive civic celebration, we have one that excludes people. For some people, either through choice or because they are of another faith, it means going along to a very Christian-led service which is excluding them. It should be an annual celebration of all work in the community, we shouldn’t not have an event, but something that is more inclusive.”

Suggestions were made to remove the use of the word “service”, to increase the focus on the town and community groups rather than on the mayor and councillors, and also to hold the celebration at the Town Hall. 

It was proposed and agreed that a task group will be set up to find a way to move forward with the event and to develop it ready for next year. 

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