THERE is much to agree with in the Rev Robert Anderson's article about the ever-increasing centralisation, and hence bureaucratisation, of Presbyterian churches at the expense of local congregations ("The Kirk must return to its traditional way of leading", The Herald, April 1). However, the other side of this development is the welcome expansion of participation in and leading of congregational worship by elders and members. This is supported by the establishment of training courses for worship leaders and the setting up of congregational worship groups.

Nor is this a second-best substitute, because lay-led services are often of good quality both in content and presentation. It is also an encouragement to other church members to see the folk that they sit next to in the pews speaking of their faith and presenting the Gospel message. In this respect, the Reformed concept of the ministry of all believers is very much alive in Scottish Presbyterianism.

Professor KB Scott, Stirling.


AS Glasgow prepares to welcome the attention of the world to the UN Climate Change Conference in November, I can only hope that the delegates (with attendant film crews) are not invited to enjoy a visit Loch Lomond, one of our most famous beauty spots. A journey along the A83 to the "Bonnie Banks" will take them past grass verges strewn with every imaginable (and some unimaginable) form of litter. If taken to view the Cobbler from Arrochar, please ask them to ignore the 30 metres of assorted debris covering the eastern end of Loch Long. A trip to the famous Rennie Mackintosh Scotland Street School will allow them to gaze at the assorted rubbish along the length of Scotland Street. And as for the motorway verges around Glasgow….

As our Government insists on marching towards independence, perhaps it could pick up some litter on the way.

George Moore, Glasgow.

* HAVING watched the TV news and seen crowds at a Nottingham park, I was disgusted to see that social distancing was ignored and the sheer mountain of litter that was left for the authorities to clear up.

I live in a rural area and regularly cycle around it and I am disgusted and angry when I see litter mindlessly left at the roadside and verges by individuals who are defacing our beautiful country.

It is a sad state of affairs that council workers have to get kitted out in their fluorescent clothing to walk the verges, risking life and limb, picking and bagging litter. The attitude that it's not my problem and someone will pick it up is, sadly, how things are these days.

We should all make a concerted effort to take a pride in our country and accept that these areas of natural beauty are not to be defaced but loved for what they are for generations to come.

Neil Stewart, Balfron.


A CLUE on the small crossword today (April 1) was “Characteristics found in the UK”, answer “Britishness”. If “Britishness” is anything like the post-lockdown parties seen in parks in Nottingham, Birmingham, Sheffield & London, I don’t want anything to do with it, thank you.

Steve Barnet, Gargunnock.


I NOTE that it will cost £3.2 billion to decommission the Dounreay plant ("It’s goodbye to the golf ball: Date is set for removal of Dounreay’s fast reactor", The Herald, March 29). Furthermore, the site will not be safe until 2333.

The advocates of nuclear power tell us that it must be included in the mix if we are to become successful in our quest for carbon neutrality in energy production.

Maybe. But, given the eye-watering sum of money required to decommission just this one plant (one, moreover, which has not been in production for many years), I do feel there is some cause to doubt the validity of their argument.

Alan Jenkins, Glasgow.

* CHINA is attending the COP26 conference in November. It will no doubt pledge to step up the pace at which it is lying about reducing its CO2 emissions.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinross.


STUART Waiton uses the quotation "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" ("Batley row shows we must defend tolerance in schools", The Herald, March 31), but it is only attributed to Voltaire. The words are actually from the book The Friends of Voltaire by Evelyn Hall (1868-1956), writing as SG Tallentyre.

The psychiatrist Thomas Szasz (1920-2012) said something which to me smacks of common sense: "A child becomes an adult when he realises that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong." What a pity that many adults cannot keep that in mind of others, and just be tolerant. Maybe reciprocation would ensue and peace break out.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.


REGARDING mumbling on TV and radio (Letters, March 30 & 31), despite my age I don’t think it is just me – and I accept some may consider it to be nit-picking – but when listening to the Today programme on Radio 4, there is an annoying tendency for one of the male presenters in particular to let his normally adequate voice level tail off to an incomprehensible whisper as he ends his contribution. Yes, I mean you, Nick Robinson. Please speak up right to the end.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.