IT'S akin to a peasants' revolt ("Parishes rebel as Kirk accused of acting like tax collectors", The Herald, May 22) … for too long the major power brokers in the Kirk have quietly increased congregational contributions without ever trying to find out what the members of the pews actually want to support with their money.

The system is designed to prevent change. The budget for the year is decided on the Saturday at the start of the Assembly and it is almost impossible to change that in the course of the Assembly. In the past suggestions that the Kirk should survey members regarding their priorities for Kirk expenditure have been totally ignored. Since changes cannot, apparently, be made immediately this is a great time for Kirk Sessions and members to be asked what their priorities are.

There can be little doubt that members can see there is no justification for maintaining the staffing level at Kirk HQ at the same level as it was 20 years ago when membership has been on a downward spiral since then. Previous allocation systems allowed congregations to support the causes they wanted to support. That is not currently possible with the current tax system. Will those who support the Kirk in the parishes at last be listened to? I certainly hope so. But I have my doubts.

Rev Dr Bill Wallace, Banchory.

DOUBTLESS the Rev Dr Robert Anderson (Letters, May 22) occasioned some shock by his concluding earthy remarks of "pity the poor bloody infantry in the pews". Perhaps either " flock " or " sheep " would have sufficed.

Seriously, his point on "lucrative" jobs for 121 George Street George Street being potentially off-loaded may intrigue staff union reps, but in reality that scenario is wide of the mark and only adds further disillusionment to already loyal Kirk employees.

Conversely, whilst I do not subscribe to many of Dr Anderson's already stated views on the past, present and future of the CoS stance he is to be commended for stimulating debate on the issues facing our national church on Scotland.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.