4 JANUARY 1992, Page 22

LETTERS No bigot he

Sir: I refer to Mr William Oddie's, 'Never on a Sunday,' (14 December). Mr Oddie gave evidence for B & Q, prosecuted for Sunday trading in the Torfaen vs B & Q case. Apparently, he is the 'expert theologi- cal witness,' for the well funded Shopping Hours Reform Council. Therefore, it is not surprising that he, like the Queen in Hamlet, protests just a little too much about the motives of Michael Schluter and David Blackmore who campaign to keep Sunday special.

However, it is sad that Mr Oddie feels it necessary to impugn the motives of those he disagrees with. To imply that they must be slightly dotty lowers the quality of debate in an important matter which surely transcends personalities. But if Schluter and Blackmore, who are opposed to law- breaking and see advantages in keeping Sunday special, are thereby hypocrites and religious bigots, then almost 50 per cent of the British Retailers' Association, the National Chamber of Trade, all the leading Churches (including Mr Oddie's) and many Members of both Houses of Parliament of all parties are equally suspect. That so many have adopted the perfectly sensible `REST' proposals which Schluter and Blackmore seek to promote makes a non- sense of his article.

Tom Benyon

The Old Rectory, Adstock, Buckingham