[caption id="attachment_92418" align="alignright" width="230" caption="Councillor Pat McCarthy, from Wellington, listening to music with his headphones"]
A row over saying prayers before meetings of a Shropshire town council has escalated after a councillor stuck headphones into his ears and listened to Bob Dylan while members said the Lord's Prayer.
During last night's meeting of Wellington Town Council, Councillor Pat McCarthy took out his MP3 player and chose to listen to the American singer while other members bowed their heads and prayed.
Councillor McCarthy was called "disgusting" by another member after his actions.
The row began last month when Councillor McCarthy, an independent member, called for compulsory prayers at the start of meetings of the full council to be replaced by a "pre-meeting" with prayers where attendance was voluntary.
He claimed compulsory Christian prayers discriminated against atheists and people of other faiths.
His remarks caused fury within the council and led to The Anglican Bishop of Shrewsbury, The Right Reverend Mark Rylands, publicly backing the council's attempt to pray before meetings. But at the start of yesterday's meeting, Councillor McCarthy listened to music during prayers.
Afterwards Councillor Miles Hosken said he wanted his disgust at Councillor McCarthy's actions to be minuted.
But Councillor McCarthy defended his actions.
"I think as long as I'm not disturbing anyone else I think I have the right to listen to music on my headphones," he said.