A major Orange march has been re-routed to avoid a Catholic church after police raised fears over escalating tensions.

Almost a thousand marchers on Saturday hoped to parade past Glasgow’s St Alphonsus, scene of an attack on a priest last year.

However, city authorities have told them to take a different route after Police Scotland said it would need 200 officers to deal with marchers and counter-protesters outside the church.

The march, planned by County Grand Orange Lodge of Glasgow, is the just the latest to be rerouted away from the church. Four marching groups last week lost an appeal against a council decision telling them not to pass St Alphonsus.

Chief Inspector Patrick Murphy, area commander for Glasgow East, told city councillors there had been a “troubling change” in rhetoric since Canon Tom White was spat on outside the church last year.

James G MacLean, grand treasurer of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, argued his group had condemned that “ugly incident”. A man has been convicted of the attack.

Mr MacLean said the lodge would be appealing the council’s decision at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

READ MORE: Orange marchers sue council

Councillor Annette Christie, chairwoman of the public processions committee, which regulates marches, said it had reached a unanimous decision.

“The committee has concluded that, on balance, if the procession was allowed to proceed as originally proposed, there will be a clear risk to public order and disruption to the life of the community,” she said. “The committee considered it necessary to place proportionate conditions on the procession.”

Mr Murphy said Police Scotland had requested the route was changed as there has been a “troubling change in the terms of the tone and commentary and rhetoric” around marches passing the church.

He said recent language has become more “strident” on both sides and positions have polarised.

Police noted during a protest last month, as a parade passed the church, there were shouts of “Fenian b******” and “Paedos” from supporters of the parade to the protesters.

The Chief Inspector said social media posts about pipe bombs and burning vehicles close to the proposed route, while not suggested as a serious threat, showed the hardening of attitudes.

Mr MacLean told the committee the Council has been notified about this march in June 2018, a month before the incident with Canon White so it had not been planned as a response.

He said marchers felt they were being held responsible for that “unfortunate incident” if the route was changed.

The lodge’s representative also said the right to counter-protest cannot override the right to march.

READ MORE: Orange Order lose fight to stop rerouting of weekend loyalist marches in Glasgow

It is the latest of a number of parades to be recommended to be re-routed from the church since the incident last July.

Four groups - Bridgeton Orange and Purple District 37, Dalmarnock Orange and Purple District 50, Dalmarnock No Surrender Branch Club and the Apprentice Boys of Derry (Bridgeton) - lost a court bid, against a council decision to stop them marching past the church, last week.

This weekend Orange marching groups have extended an olive branch to those protesting against them as Glasgow braces itself for a summer of parades disputes.

In a rare peace overture, Scottish Protestants Against Discrimination (SPAD), an umbrella campaign linked to Protestant Orders , has offered to sit down with its harshest critics to diffuse sectarian tensions on Clydeside.