IT was with no little concern but with considerable anguish that I read about the appeal being made by representatives of some 500 churches against health restrictions being imposed on public worship ("Churches in call to end ban on public worship", The Herald, January 13).

Their letter appears to question the legality of our Government’s restriction, irrespective of its carefully considered health implications. This puts the church leaders concerned into the same category as certain politicians, professional sportspeople and clubs, who seem to assume themselves to be above and beyond the common sense precautions of the community and their simpering references to praying for wisdom has clearly gone unanswered, not surprisingly.

Gatherings for church services, which is only one aspect of expressing faith, are no less subject to professional medical assessments than are sporting events, theatre performances, music festivals, celebratory parties and such like and the fact that their purpose is for community worship does not make them any different, although certain ecclesiastical persons unfortunately seem to think otherwise.

It is this "holier than thou" attitude which turns many folks away from the formal church and causes many of us to question our desire to remain members of it.

If their prayers are ever answered, then I am sure such answers will consist of directives to lead by example, get rid of their assumed superiority and become part of the people.

Ian Cooper, Church of Scotland elder, Bearsden.

* ONE of the many things I am missing at the moment is the ability to be able to go to church, but accept this as one of the many current limitations. I am surprised that so many church leaders are complaining about the ban on public worship; surely they of all people should be keen to protect their congregations and communities?

Cathy Baird, Dunipace.


NICOLA Sturgeon tries to give the impression that she is deeply concerned about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. But how can we possibly accept her sincerity in this matter when at the same time she insists that the Scottish Parliamentary elections should proceed as scheduled in May? Does she really believe that all the consequences of Covid-19 will have been eliminated by then?

Until this pandemic is finally swept away from the shores of the UK there is absolutely no place for political exchanges of any sort, especially of a divisive nature. Consolidation of purpose is essential for the health of the whole nation, be it of a medical or political nature. There is no place for petty nationalism.

In any case Scotland cannot afford to be independent of the UK; any figures pertaining to its economy give a clear indication of this fact. When has the current minority SNP administration ever produced figures relating to the Scottish economy which could have been described as acceptable? Without substantial assistance per the Barnett Formula, the Scottish Government would struggle to make ends meet.

It seems that even in these difficult times the so-called key figures in the independence movement have only one thing on their minds. Scotland deserves better than ill-timed nationalism.

Robert IG Scott, Ceres, Fife.


FRANCES McKie (Letters, January 11) makes very good points about the “wisdom” of allowing the Cheltenham Festival to go ahead, Westminster’s early handling of the care home issue and a general criticism of the UK Government. Sadly, she falls into the same convenient memory loss condition as Nicola Sturgeon by forgetting that the Scottish Government allowed a Scotland v France rugby international to go ahead to a full house at Murrayfield, a Rangers match to go ahead v German opposition at a full Ibrox – and the Scottish care home figures are just as bad if not worse.

Last time I checked, these were all “devolved issues”, but never spoil a good story by telling the whole truth.

Duncan Sooman, Milngavie.


THE Greens wish to build a Forth tunnel, a construction project which would involve an enormous amount of carbon emissions ("Rail tunnel under Firth of Forth is at heart of Green Party vision", The Herald, January 23).

They want us to travel by train, whose electric power will always be mostly generated by fossil fuels because most of the time the wind does not blow at the optimum speed. If we must travel by car it should also be electric, but according to Volkswagen we would have to travel 50,000 miles in our expensive iGolf before the emissions produced in the manufacturing process are expunged to become carbon-neutral. Next they will be telling us to ride on unicorns.

David Stark, Cumbernauld.


PUNY 27, 28, 29 and 34-letter words are also-rans, ( Letters, January 12 &13). Mr Google tells me, but don’t hold your breath, that the longest word in the English language and clear winner with 45 is “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” ( a lung disease contracted from the inhalation of very fine silica particles, specifically from a volcano).

Personally I’d settle for infinity.

R Russell Smith, Largs.