HE news that the Kirk is to apologise for years of discrimination and lack of welcome and full participation in the life of the Kirk by gay people is both timely and prophetic (“Kirk in landmark apology over gay discrimination”, The Herald, April 18). In the face of emotional blackmail and threats of quitting by opponents, folk like Scott Rennie and othes who are LGBT have shown great dignity and a higher understanding of Christ than some. The opponents speak of protecting their consciences. To this I would pose the question: "Why should those of us who believe in inclusion be held captive by the weak consciences for whom Christianity is something to be endured rather than celebrated?"

The time has long since come for ministers to have the freedom of conscience to marry who want to get married whether gay, lesbian, transgender or straight. As an ally, I look forward to having the joy and great privilege of conducting the weddings of all who approach me. And those who look down their self-righteous theological noses at the rest of us should know that they will also be welcome.

Rev John Nugent,

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Wick St Fergus Manse, Miller Avenue, Wick.

WE were not surprised to learn that the 2016 Scottish Church Census, which was recently published by Brierley Consultancy, shows only seven per cent of the Scottish population now attend Christian worship (“ Koran-row cathedral bucks trend in falling attendances”, The Herald, April 17).

For us there is no schadenfreude in these findings as everyone has the right to private belief, but Christianity still enjoys access to education, law and government based on the absurd notion that it somehow represents or speaks for all Scots.

It must now find a place in our society where it continues to represent its followers with quiet dignity and where it is spared the resentment it attracts with these unelected privileges.

Neil Barber,

Edinburgh Secular Society,

Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh.