Sir, Having read recent articles in The Courier, including Jim Crumley’s, about the RSPB and T in the Park’s proposed move to Strathallan, I am writing in support of the RSPB. They have my full and continued support for the sterling work they do.
I am a bird lover and I completely understand the protective steps the RSPB are taking to cause as little disruption as possible to wildlife. I believe, in partnership with DF Concerts, they are doing all that they can to protect and ensure the wildlife here can find habitats and continue to enjoy the surroundings as we do. I fail to understand why some people are withdrawing their membership . . . surely this will only be detrimental to the birds and wildlife they continuously support?
Large events take place all over Scotland and living things continue to live. I am witnessing first hand the steps DF Concerts are taking to ensure minimum disruption and I am impressed with their commitment to the environment and all the positive steps they are taking.
These steps are being implemented with agreements from experts in all fields of nature conservation and as such do not warrant negative comments based upon hearsay and misleading information given out by objectors.
I have lived on this estate for 19 years and know the wildlife intimately and if I felt that nature was being ignored to its detriment I would not be in favour. However, as previously mentioned, experts in all fields have approved the measures being taken, and Scottish Natural Heritage (as reported in The Courier, March 3), has voiced support for plans to stage this summer’s T in the Park in the grounds of Strathallan.
Morag Balfour. Paddockhaugh, East Strathallan Estate, Auchterarder.
No interests in “joyless” church
Sir, Bryan Auchterlonie comments, as an outsider, on the decline in church attendance with some perfectly honest observations (Letters, March 4). Contrary to all the teachings in the Bible, some church services are indeed joyless and uninspiring.
But it must be said that a good church is not in the numbers game. The first responsibility of the Christian believer is to please God through worship, prayer and a pure life. Then, from the security of a priceless friendship with God, the Christian is called to declare to those outside, certain truths which people could not otherwise know.
Such truths include the great fact that people were made by God and for God (Colossians chapter 1 verse 16), which leads to the highest moral responsibility possible to the human heart, namely that God should be glorified in us. The Christian will then declare to the outsider that Jesus has made this possible.
Once the Christian has faithfully carried out his task, he would eagerly anticipate an increase in quantity and especially quality in the church. However, a joyless and uninspiring church service, even with large numbers, he has no interest in whatsoever.
Stuart Wishart. 12 Walnut Grove, Blairgowrie.
It has relevance for “all men”
Sir, John Napier in his passionate contribution to the “emptying churches” debate (Courier, March 5) clearly identifies the culprit when he writes “the church of Scotland (in) that they fail to take an uncompromising Bible- based stand against anything, are all things to all men, crucially failing to preach the gospel”. His note resounds with the absolute certainties of evangelical promise. Yet wait. “All things to all men Failing to preach the gospel”?
I recently read that one way for a Christian to interpret scripture and preach the gospel would be the way that Jesus did. Jesus indeed heard the voice of God in a direct way, yet he as a Rabbi grew up in the Jewish practice of Midrash a way of interpreting scripture that encourages us to fill in the spaces, to question, and to imagine different interpretations.
The practice of Midrash allows the text to open up inside as we seek to uncover that which nourishes us rather than accepting one final, closed, certain interpretation. This Midrash approach, learned by the Rabbi Jesus through childhood, was the norm for much of the first 1300 years of Christianity.
Christianity may have regressed with the recent increase in “biblical inerrancy” one certain interpretation which happens to be from the many, the one which I have been taught to believe!
The word of God has potential relevance for “all men”, not solely a chosen few, and reflective interpretation of scripture and its many and mystic meanings has been an important element in the spiritual growth of all three monotheistic religions over time.
Christian church attendance has fallen, and will continue to fall. It is not exclusively any one institution’s “fault”.
John unfairly hangs the reality of falling attendance solidly on the Church of Scotland hook, through his perception that it has become “all things to all men”. Why would an “all things to all men” philosophy not be attractive to someone seeking to embrace Christianity?
Andi Lothian. Blackness, Dundee.
Frustration in the car park
Sir, Following your item about a minor slip-up in a registration number leading to a ridiculous fine for a patron of the Kinnoull Street car park in Perth, I thought I would let other parkers know that other confusions can arise there.
Recently I had no coins suitable for the parking meters when I first arrived at the car-park and as notices tell us that we may pay for parking at any time during our stay I acquired some coins during my shopping in town and on my return to the car-park paid the required sum for two hours.
To my surprise, the ticket showed I was entitled to park for a further two hours from the time I had put the money in. I had finished my shopping and it was time to go home, so I was unable to take advantage of this, which is a pity as it would have helped to make up for the many times I have parked for perhaps just over an hour and had to pay for two.
Mrs E Williams. 5 Walnut Grove, Perth.
Vote SNP for Tory policies
Sir, So, billionaire Tory supporter Lord Ashcroft has reported a wipeout of Scottish Labour in the forthcoming general election. Do not be fooled. His poll “results” are intended to influence the subconscious of Scottish voters.
How many of the 1000 people telephoned in each constituency told his people to push off? Didn’t tell us that, did he? What questions were asked? No information. How were the individuals chosen who got the calls? Ah, now we see what’s going on. Every poll can be manipulated by using tactics aimed to achieve a desired result.
The techniques of methodology and psephology are tried and tested but have to be transparent.
The only thing that Tory statements prove is that highlighting the SNP will help the Tories. SNP support gave the country Thatcher. Now SNP are willing to jump into bed with David Cameron. And he’s very willing to let them in.
Jim Levack. 372 Methilhaven Road, Methil.
A re-routed route map?
Sir, Jack McKeown’s interesting piece on Ordnance Survey maps (March 5) informs readers of the OS’s public competition to provide pictures for map covers.
One of the map covers used to illustrate Mr McKeown’s piece is that of Explorer 379: Dunkeld, Aberfeldy and Glen Almond.
The existing picture there would be greatly improved by being printed the right way round.
According to the picture as printed, the traveller going south on the “old A9” through Dunkeld would turn left (not right) for the cathedral and, having crossed Telford’s Bridge, would veer right (not left) to go through Birnam and on to Perth.
Gordon Dilworth. 20 Baledmund Road, Moulin, Pitlochry.
An inspirational production
Sir, I attended the latest production, Blood Wedding, at The Rep Theatre. Providing you can see past the sometimes used “F” word, then you will enjoy an inspirational production of this play. If, like me, you enjoy a live stage performance, don’t miss this.
Mrs June Reid. 12 Findhorn Street, Dundee.