REGARDING your report 'Wealth Before Health Church Row' (LET, January 12), could I comment and, hopefully, put into an accurate context the true situation regarding the proposed installation of telecommunications equipment at St Leonard's Church, Padiham.

Those of us in favour of the current proposal -- which received the unanimous support of the church council -- are now accused of endangering the health of the community, of putting "wealth before health," having been put in the dock by a number of no doubt well-meaning people who have acted as both judge and jury.

The most recent advice of an independent panel of experts (the Stewart Report, commissioned by HM Government to report on mobile phones and health) concluded that the basis of research to date does not suggest that emissions from mobile phones and base stations put the health of the UK population at risk.

Obviously, the panel were looking for evidence to support the view that there was a health danger, but they could not find even a suggestion. However, they did recommend further research to gain more comprehensive data and the government and the phone companies have agreed to this recommendation.

In the absence of evidence of health danger, there is no reason why the equipment should not be installed on the church site. The agreement the church will make with Orange includes a three-year review and get-out clause.

The government are calling for a review of the whole matter in 2003; they have learned from the BSE scare and do not wish a repeat of it. If there were even a suggestion of health risk, work at St Leonard's would not be started.

If one believes that by objecting to the church installation the matter will go away, one is living in cloud cuckoo land. Experience proves that rejection of one site only means going to another.

Let us return to the principle of innocent until proved guilty and not be influenced by hysteria generated by popular acceptance of media coverage unsupported by factual evidence.

THE REV CANON JC DUXBURY, Arbory Drive, Padiham.