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Lyme Regis: Discussion held over groups' use of beach
10:30am Friday 27th April 2012 in Lyme Regis
FOLLOWING the controversy sparked by a Christian group using Lyme Regis beach in the summer a ‘Darwinian’ group has asked to be allowed there too.
There have been calls to ban the United Beach Mission from promoting its message on the beach and councillors on the council’s strategy and policy committee were asked to make a ruling at their meeting last week.
Lyme Regis resident John Bartholomew said the mission should confine its activities to churches but perhaps be allowed to leaflet the beach to attract people to their activities.
He said: “I do not see this as a religious issue, it is about appropriateness and equality of opportunity.”
Councillors were divided in their opinions but finally agreed to let the mission come for free again but perhaps consider the Beach Mission in the same way as concessionary activities are next year and said the request from the evolutionary group had come too late.
Coun Mark Gage said it was clear there was no one viewpoint in the town about the use of the beach for religious purposes.
He said: “The committee may wish to consider how we deal with requests from other groups.”
He added: “My view is that the beach is a place for recreation and leisure and not for preaching, whatever your beliefs.”