I read with interest the story of a claim that for the judiciary to participate in the traditional opening of year service shows some kind of bias. It does nothing of the sort, as your leader article says. I would, however, go further.

The suggestion in the leader that there could be an appearance of bias could equally be applied to judges who have no religious belief. Why is it suggested that judges with a religious belief are showing bias, whereas those who do not have such a belief are not showing bias?

In reality, I am confident that all judges, whatever their beliefs on religious matters, can be relied upon to put those beliefs aside when doing their jobs on the bench. I fear that those who campaign for an end to the start of year service are, in reality, part of the push we see in our country to eradicate all expression of religious belief from public life – all, of course, in the names of equality and tolerance, which are not to be extended to those with religious beliefs. If we give in to this pressure, we will all be the worse off for it.

Philip Martin-Summers, Higgs & Sons, West Midlands