Birmingham City Council believes in the power of even silent prayer, apparently

And they don't like it, apparently

I wonder what the A of C or the C of E have to say about this. Nothing, as far as I can see. At least, not yet. And I’m not holding my breath.


Earlier this month, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was standing silently in a public street. She was doing, saying and displaying absolutely nothing, apparently lost in thought. A policeman approached her. He asked if she was inwardly praying. When she said she might have been, he immediately arrested her, took her to a police station and searched her. Last week, Vaughan-Spruce was told she faces prosecution.

Whatever your view on abortion, even if you are strongly pro-choice, this whole episode should worry you immensely. The implications for personal liberty are terrifying. If an arrest for silent prayer is not an instance of Orwellian ‘thoughtcrime’, then I don’t know what is.

This whole affair highlights how our leaders are becoming increasingly authoritarian. Their rules and restrictions on what we can say or think are casting an ever wider net. Concerns for individual freedom are frequently sidelined.