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Sunday parking charges called a 'tax on the right to free worship'

by Cara Bentley

The city council wants to introduce a £1 charge for every 15 minutes a vehicle is parked, which could be topped up for up to two hours at £8.

Rev Melvyn Wood, interim moderator of St Columba Gaelic Church teamed up with St Andrew's West Church of Scotland and Glasgow City Free Church to encourage people to sign an open letter to the city council asking that it only be introduced from 1pm - when most services would already be over.

Rev Wood said: "This proposal is a tax on our right to free worship.

"We accept that parking restrictions are in place Monday to Saturday but Sundays are not working days for business and have always had free on-street parking.

"Due to reduced public transport on Sundays, we rely on private cars and lifts to get to and from church as some of our congregation members are elderly with limited mobility."

The charges aim to reduce congestion in the city and help the environmental regeneration of the city.

The Presbytery of Glasgow has raised concerns about Sunday parking charges in a letter to Annemarie O'Donnell, chief executive of Glasgow City Council.

Rev George Cowie, presbytery clerk, wrote: "We are concerned that for some people, the introduction of parking charges will act as a deterrent and may contribute to the church's presence in some areas becoming less viable.

"The Church's charitable activities are of a different nature than those of organisations with more commercial interests."

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