Church in the News: 19 December, 2016

Church in the News Highlights Tuesday 13 - Monday 19 December

Moderator's Christmas Message

The Edinburgh Evening News gave a preview of this year's Christmas message from the Moderator, Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr. In his message, Dr Barr highlights the "enormous contrasts" of Christmas, where for some "there are the sights and sounds of the Christmas markets" but for others "there are the sights and sounds of people sleeping rough in shop doorways."  

Matchbox Nativities

Rev David Pitkeathly spoke on BBC Radio Cumbria about miniature nativity scenes in matchboxes which The Border Kirk in Carlisle are giving out for free to members of the public. Mr Pitkeathly hopes that these nativities, which are made in Peru by a fairtrade group, will help people to "remember the core of Christmas".

Three Parent Babies

The Church of Scotland is urging the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to think very carefully before licensing any clinical use of the new “three parent babies” techniques it has approved.

Dr Murdo Macdonald, Policy Officer for the Church's Society, Religion and Technology Project which has been considering this issue for a number of years said "This is the first instance of regulatory approval for genetic modification of a human baby. A strong and long-standing international consensus asserts that we should not cross this ethical ‘bright line’, since to do so will very likely lead to a future of genetically modified, ‘enhanced’ and ‘designer’ babies".

His comments were published in The Times, The Herald, The Scotsman,

Moderator Rededicates Church after £1.5 makeover

More than 300 people attended a special service on Friday to rededicate an historic church in Aberdeen which has had a £1.5million refurbishment.

The special guest at Mannofield Church was Moderator of the General Assembly Right Rev Dr Russell Barr, who was accompanied by his wife Margaret.

Dr Barr unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.

The Moderator said a huge amount of money and effort had gone into renovating and restoring the historic building to ensure it is fit for purpose in the 21st century.

Minister Keith Blackwood said the eight-year project had been a labour of love for the congregation and described the church as a welcoming "hub of care and support for the local community".

The story was covered in the: Press & Journal,
Aberdeen Evening Express
Original FM

Mary Logie's Killer Charged

A heroin addict has today been found guilty of the murder of a “kind hearted” Church of Scotland member in Fife.

Sandra Weir killed pensioner Mary (Rae) Logie in her home in Green Gates, Leven in January.

The Daily Record, The Scotsman, The Courier and the Edinburgh Evening News all carried the story.

Church of Scotland volunteers help the homeless

The Howard Centre in Kilmarnock, which was set up as a Christian Outreach centre, are providing presents for the homeless and for people trying to overcome drug addition this Christmas. The story featured on West Sound Radio.

Find out more about the Howard Centre.

Hard-work of Minister recognised

Congratulations to Rev Scott Burton who has been included in the Courier Impact 100 list for 2016.

The recognition is awarded to people in the newspaper's circulation area "who inspire us, challenge and change our world".

Mr Burton, a former plasterer, oversaw the £875,000 refurbishment of St Matthew's Parish Church in Perth - and even carried out some of the work himself, along with other congregation members.

...Otherwise Merry Christmas from everyone in the Communications Department!

This will be the last Church in the News until the new year, when we will do a bumper edition to cover the Christmas period.