Church in the News: 13 February, 2017

Church in the news highlights Tuesday 7 February - Monday 13 February

Church leaders criticise UK government over child refugee ban

Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland and Honor Hania, chair, Commission for Justice and Peace, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland released a statement urging the UK government to continue accepting child refugees.

“We were shocked and disappointed to learn that the UK Government intends to terminate the implementation of Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 – the “Dubs amendment” to resettle unaccompanied asylum seeking children from Europe. To have stopped this programme at fewer than 12% of the original commitment of 3,000 children is reprehensible.

The statement has had considerable interest from the press including:

Closure of Glasgow Job Centres

Controversial proposals to shut down half of all job centres in Glasgow have been branded a “disgrace”.

Rev Dr Martin Johnstone, Secretary to the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, said the UK Government plans were “unjust, ill conceived” and an “attack” on some of the most vulnerable people in society.

He gave evidence to the UK Parliament’s Scottish Affairs Committee during a session to scrutinise the potential impact of closing eight Job Centre Plus facilities in the city.

This was covered by both the Glasgow Evening Times and the Daily Record.

The Glasgow Evening Times wrote several articles this week criticising the proposed closures and noted the Church of Scotland's concern.

Former General Assembly Steward leaves £3 million to charity

Raymond Scott, who died last year, left three million pounds to charitable causes.

He was very much involved in the life of the Church of Scotland and had helped at the Stewards' Room at the General Assembly for over twenty-five years.

Rt Rev Russell Barr described Mr Scott at a reception held in his memory as a “much loved Assembly stewarding stalwart”.

Two Scout groups, the Royal Botanic Gardens and a fund at George Heriot's School for children with only one parent are the main beneficiaries.

The story was covered in:

Blackford Parish Church vandalism

Rev Mary Perkins, minister of Blackford Parish Church, in Perthshire spoke about the recent attack by vandals on her charge on Wave 102. She spoke about the extensive damage that occurred, but also praised the "wonderful support" from "colleagues and friends around Scotland".

Richard Burdge has also written about Blackford Parish Church and comments that "the meagre rewards for the thieves make the crime all the more senseless". Burdge notes that "the people of Blackford were shocked by a mindless attack which targeted the hub of their village, the parish church" and considers the long-term impact it will have on the community.