Readers' letters: Historic churches are under threat

I am concerned at the number of churches in East Lothian scheduled for possible closure.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 7:00 am

The list includes a number of pre-reformation parish churches. These buildings are not just places of worship, but are important, historic listed buildings, which are of huge local interest. They are the most important buildings in their parishes, and the centres of their communities.

Whitekirk: An important church, which though rebuilt after a serious fire in 1914, dates back to David I, has already closed. It had an important Holy Well, which disappeared in the 18th century.

It has a diverse history, but one of the most notable facts was that Aeneas Silvius, Pope Pius II came on pilgrimage on his bare feet from Dunbar.

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Spott: This is a pleasing, simple church, now typical of the 18th century, but in fact much older. It had a difficult time in the 16th century.

Robert Galbraith, the parson was murdered in 1544. He was succeeded by John Hamilton until 1547. He became an archbishop but was hanged in 1571 for complicity in the murder of the Regent Moray.

He was succeeded at Spott by the Rev. John Kello, the first reformed minister, who murdered his wife on 24 September 1570 and was hanged in Edinburgh on 4 October 1570.

Oldhamstocks: The present building is post-reformation, built on the site of an earlier structure. It is of considerable interest and sits in an interesting burial ground.

Gladsmuir: It seems surprising that this church is threatenend, considering the huge influx of population expected at Blindwells.

Its most noted minister was William Robertson, 1721 – 93, historian and Principal of Edinburgh University from 1762.

A similar case could be made for other churches on the list. It seems to me that their closure and a sell-off, leading to house conversion, already proposed for Whittingehame, despite a war memorial to a Prime Minster, Arthur Balfour, would be a disaster.

It is almost certainly a mistaken idea to believe that worshippers will go to another place.

Stephen Bunyan, President, East Lothian Antiquarian Society.

Edinburgh’s never ending roadworks

I write regarding the closure of Granton Road northwards from Ferry Road which started on Monday. Of course, no work was being done, presumably because it was a public holiday.

Local signage says the closure will last three days, but going into the Scottish Road Works Online website it says:

"BT055-892520-2 (3122658): From outside of 11 to rear of 5 Rosebank Road on Granton Road fw verge and cw Granton Road, Trinity, Edinburgh

BT 02/05/2022 - 01/08/2022: 10 Working Day(s). Laying Duct on fw cw and verge - wp3 to wp4 are falling in private."

So this closure could last three days, 10 days or three months!

I know that this is one very small instance of the City of Edinburgh's competence but I hope that motorists and other road users will take this into account when deciding how to place their votes on Thursday.

Robert Williams, Edinburgh.

Amazing grace

If research into the impact of Brexit had been legally required before the vote we would likely not be in as big a mess as we are. If Burns was still with us he would be rewriting the Selkirk Grace:

Some hae some meat and canna really afford it

And some would like to afford it

But we hae Chicken and hae to ration it

And sae who for this mon be thankit?

John Cutland, Kirkcaldy.

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