Lovers of community radio will have been following the story of Radio Verulam, and its decision to dispense with the services of two of its long-standing presenters, Elspeth Jackman (a contributor to this column) and Danny Smith. 

The dispute centres around the station’s entirely reasonable desire to include coverage of faiths other than Christianity in its religious coverage. Elspeth’s long-standing show is and always has been unashamedly a Christian radio show.  She did not feel she could comply with the station’s request to include coverage of other faiths and was dismissed when she shared her unhappiness with her supporters.  Danny, whose West Herts Drivetime  was deservedly very popular, came out in support and the rest in history

I’ve appeared on both shows and I greatly admire the dedication and professionalism of people who willingly give up so much time to serve their community.  It seems to me extraordinary and against the spirit of the times that a compromise could not have been found. Several have been suggested in the media and on social media. There is no reason why broadcasters from other faith communities could not be invited on to the radio to present, either regularly or occasionally, while Elspeth continued to do what she has done so faithfully for years.  It is not too late for Radio Verulam to demonstrate a proper 21st century spirit. Increasing polarisation is damaging us all and we must push back!   Tolerance and the understanding of others' views is at the heart of all true religion and of all equitable societies.