Minister not portraying a welcoming Kirk

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I was horrified to read about the views of Church of Scotland minister Leslie Steele on the front page of last week’s Southern.

I can understand if people have deeply-held religious beliefs which mean that they cannot or find it difficult to advocate homosexuality within the church,

However, Mr Steele said: “Leaving the Bible aside, there exists every argument from physiology, psychology and society against the practice of homosexuality.”

It seems that Mr Steele is using his position within the church to preach a message of hate and intolerance, and publicise his own homophobic views.

I have no doubt that he also believes for much the same reasons women are the weaker sex and should be subordinate to men in society and that the Bible simply backs up his views.

He is certainly not portraying an opening and welcoming Church of Scotland, and as a Galashiels resident I would definitely not be turning to him or his church for pastoral guidance.

I hope that Mr Steele honours his offer of stepping down at Old Parish and St Paul’s Church in the near future, regardless of the approval or otherwise of gay ordination.

Andy Gilbert

Magdala Terrace


I’ve been driven to writing by your piece on the Reverend Leslie Steele in last week’s paper.

No person with outdated discriminatory views should be entitled to hold any position of influence and power in the local community. This man is entitled to his views privately, but should in no way enjoy the privilege of an influential role.

If Mr Steele glances at his calendar and spots that the year is 2011, hopefully he may be prompted to reflect on some of the progress society has made in the last few hundred years – and decide to catch up.

Iain Coltman

Victoria Street