Britain is revered for its customs and ceremony, but the long-standing tradition of British judges gathering at Westminster Abbey at the start of the new legal year is coming under fire.
The judges and their legal guests celebrate the new year every October 1 with a church service that includes prayers, hymns, anthems and psalms, with both the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice reading a lesson.
After the service a parade of wigged and gowned justices make their way across the street to attend the traditional Lord Chancellor’s breakfast at the House of Parliament.
Some applaud this service and ceremony as one of the last remaining links between church and state. Others question whether an independent judiciary in a multi-cultural, secular society should be praying before an Anglican alter, an issue that is now on the agenda of Britain’s Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling.
Those opposed to the service…
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