|UK||ORGANISERS THWART HUME'S MILLENNIUM PRAYER WISH|
A last wish of Cardinal Basil Hume for the Archbishop of Canterbury to lead the nation in Christian prayer at the Millennium Dome shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve is being thwarted by organisers of the celebrations.
At a meeting at Lambeth Palace on Friday, just 24 hours after Cardinal Hume died of cancer, senior representatives of the Government and the Dome authorities said that his desire to have a prayer read publicly during the last minutes of the century could dampen the party atmosphere of the occasion.
In the final weeks of his life, Cardinal Hume, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, told several public figures and aides of his wish. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, was among those who knew of it.
Dome organisers and the Government are believed to want to keep the celebrations in the hour before midnight and the half hour afterwards largely free of prayers and speeches so they can stage a spectacular show involving music, dancing and lights.
Telegraph 11:41am 21/6/99