THE Rev Bill Wallace (Letters, April 5) is to be commended for expressing his frustrations at the Church of Scotland's response on the general decline of Kirk attendances. His remarks trigger various scriptural references for consideration. A time to speak or a time to remain silent. Encouragingly the Rev. Wallace chose the former.

Where I am at variance with Mr Wallace is his apparent acceptance that the Kirk’s membership and attendance is still the largest of any organisation in Scotland. The membership/attendance ratio reveals an alarming statistic. From experience I would suggest many Kirk congregations barely muster a 20 per cent attendance, with 75 per cent of these being retired persons. This does not augur well for the Kirk unless a swift recruitment and retainment policy is implemented.

Allan C Steele,

22 Forres Avenue, Giffnock.

SURELY there is no swing away from religious belief in Scotland, but merely a move sideways to the Secular National Proselytizers?

John Birkett,

12 Horseleys Park,

St Andrews.

WITH the most recent Scottish Social Attitudes survey showing that 52 per cent of Scots are not religious it is official that Scotland is not a “Christian country.”

It must now be time to rethink the anachronistic advantages this particular religion enjoys: unelected representatives on local education committees, open-door access to the developing minds of state school children, taxpayers’ money given to “faith schools”, automatic stewardship of civic ceremonies, annual pageants proclaiming their affiliation with our judiciary. The list goes on.

As secularists we feel no schadenfreude at this predictable decline as all are entitled to their beliefs, but Christianity is now only a subset of a minority.

The state’s duty is to protect the right to private religious belief and not to privilege it.

Neil Barber,

Edinburgh Secular Society,

Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh.