Sir: I have read with keen interest the article by Nicholas Roe ('Wear any colour except black', 17 May) in which he suggests that the colour of clerical dress should be changed. I would support that wholeheartedly. For years I have argued that black is a most unsuitable colour to represent the joy and love and hope of the Gospel. Personally, I would plump for green (possibly a shade of spring green) to symbolise the Resurrection, and advocate the wearing of a cassock, with a pectoral cross, as a simple type of uniform. Being an easy colour to match, it would provide a good base over which stoles could be hung, if desired, according to the liturgical season.
The 'dog collar', I understand, was originally adopted as a reminder of the yoke which slaves had to wear in the mines during the persecutions endured by the Early Church. In a century which has seen more Christian martyrs worldwide than any other, that would seem still to be relevant enough. While a clerical collar may be off-putting to some folk, it has its uses - as a passport, for example, to hospital visiting out of hours. It can also save its wearer from being mistaken for an insurance agent, a gasman, etc.