JUDGE Lord Braid found the Scottish Government regulations were unlawful as they manifestly interfered with the freedom of religion secured in the European Convention on Human Rights ("Churches can reopen at once as judge rules closures ‘unlawful’",The Herald, March 25).He noted that the Government made its decision to criminalise public worship without having regard to evidence that worshippers adhered to social distancing requirements.

The restrictions and £10,000 fines were the most draconian in the UK, placing disproportionate limitations on people of faith. There were other less restrictive options that did not deny people their right to worship. The fact that criminal sanctions were in place for any breach of Holyrood’s diktats was chilling and gave a disturbing insight into the Government’s mind.

It was absurd that Scottish courts used cinemas to conduct jury trials but parishioners were prevented from going to church. Sacramental issues such as Catholics receiving the Eucharist and attending confession had not been taken seriously by the Government and such doctrinal issues were treated as the equivalent of denying some people access to a lunch club.

Banning and criminalising gathered church worship was a supercilious overreach, set an ominous precedent and must not happen again. Lord Boyd concluded: “I’m clear that the effect of the closure of places of worship is that the petitioners were effectively prevented from practising their religion, however many broadcasts or internet platforms may exist.”

Dr John Cameron, St Andrews.

* WHILE the religious will no doubt enjoy celebrating their win against a secular government in the secular courts, the notion that the rights of the religious trump everybody else's leads us down a very dangerous path, lockdown or not.

Further, religious exceptionalism and triumphalism during a global pandemic which no god or gods seem able or willing to address is not exactly a good look. It remains to the enormous credit of the Church of Scotland that it demonstrated true Christian values by distancing itself from this legal challenge.

Alistair McBay, Perth.


I REGULARLY walk in Pollok Park and I, like many others, have enjoyed the changing seasons and the benefit of being out in this glorious place over the past year. Such a lot has happened during this time and a year on, it was a time for reflection. The Memorial Garden is a wonderful way to commemorate our memories of people and times past and to the future.

Whilst out walking I saw the memorial and it attracted attention and encouraged talk. I could not believe it when I read that only a few hours after being unveiled, the plaque had been removed ("Garden of remembrance memorial plaque is stolen just hours after being unveiled by the Lord Provost", The Herald, March 24). I am not alone in feeling anger and hurt that such an act should have occurred. Words cannot convey the incomprehension of such as act. Perhaps those responsible can enlighten me and many others.

I hope that the plaque will be reinstated and does not affect the enthusiasm for such a memorial.

I know that it will remain and be enjoyed by those who come to it for reflection or those just out to enjoy this fabulous Glasgow park.

Janice Carroll, Barrhead.

* HAVING performed several possibly strange but entirely legitimate acts in a wood last September to raise money for the memorial garden and just recently performed what some folks might consider to be a lunatic thing to raise more money for the garden – this time reading all 63 of Housman's poems (A Shropshire Lad) to 63 different trees in the wood, in the rain – I am not only saddened, but angered, by the theft of the plaque from the garden.

What sort of small-minded, mean-minded individual would stoop so low? I hope they feel ashamed at their act and return the plaque with a decent contribution to the fund.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.


BETWEEN you and me, I think your correspondent Forbes M Dunlop (Letters, March 24) was right to question the grammar in a comment from a BBC department reporter on the prospect of relocating to Glasgow, who said “it is a personal and painful moment for my amazing team and I”. The question is, does the correct use of the pronouns “I and me” really matter at the end of the day?

If you were to ask my wife and me, it is probably best to get it right if possible. My wife and I agree it is a bit like learning times tables; hard to forget what one is taught at school. For example, it was drummed into me at primary school that a sentence should never start with “and, but or so”. However, this appears to have been abandoned in modern usage and the use of “And” at the beginning of a sentence is frequent. Who am I to argue when The Herald’s esteemed Letters Editor made a minor amendment to one of my previous submissions which resulted in a sentence starting with “And”? Adopting the phraseology of the Bairn from the Broons, me admits defeat.

Alan M Morris, Blanefield.


BERT Peattie (Letters, March 25) invites us to suggest "any phrase more ineffectual than 'lessons will be learned'".A difficult challenge, but not, perhaps, impossible. I offer "The Government will do whatever it takes"; and "I did not intend to offend anyone".

Andrew RC McLellan, Dunfermline.