Church in the News: 21 November, 2016

Tuesday 15 - Monday 21 November

Facebook figures

We are delighted the Church of Scotland Facebook page has reached almost 600,000 people in the last 28 days, and people visiting the page have generated almost 82,000 likes, shares, comments and video views. If you don't often visit our page, please take a look.‚Äč

Jane Haining's family see the will for the first time

Relatives of Scots missionary Jane Haining have attended a special reunion to view her handwritten will. The Rt Rev Russell Barr hosted the event at the Moderator's flat.

The priceless document, along with unpublished photographs and other letters, provides a fresh insight into the life of Jane Haining who died in the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz Birkenau in 1944.

The story was picked up extensively:

Glasgow Evening News
The Herald
Press & Journal
Yorkshire Post
BBC website

The Courier
Edinburgh Evening Times
Aberdeen Evening Express

STV website

Light for Aleppo

Communities across the country were urged to support ‘A light for Aleppo, a light for all’, by lighting candles on Sunday 20 November as a gesture of support for the men, women and children trapped in the besieged Syrian city.

Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr, Moderator of the General Assembly, says the initiative is all the more timely now the bombing of Aleppo has resumed following an all too brief ceasefire.

Gais Masri, 19, who came to Scotland from Syria two years ago, said the Light for Aleppo initiative gives him hope. He says:

“It’s sad to hear that people from your country are dying every day and the places where you have loads of memories are destroyed, so this means a lot to me. It means that people are thinking about us and they did not forget us and there is still hope that war will end in Syria and everything might be fine.

Masri, who is studying environmental engineering in the hope that he will one day be able to return to Syria and help rebuild the country, says the Scottish people have welcomed him and his friends here are like a new family.

“I will never forget what the Scottish people have done for me and my family,” he said. “Even if I can go back to Syria and help my country I will never forget Scotland.”

The story appeared in:

The Herald  
Christian Today

Northern Times

Richmond's Hope

Founded by a Kirk minister, Edinburgh-based charity Richmond’s Hope has already helped more than 3,000 young people come to terms with their grief. Now during Children’s Grief Awareness week the charity is launching a new service in Glasgow.

Rev Liz Henderson founded Richmond’s Hope 14 years ago after she realised that in just one year 15 funerals in her Craigmillar community had left 36 children without a parent or sibling. Discovering there was little help available for young people coming to terms with their grief, Liz set up Richmond’s Hope. Since then the independent charity, which is open to people of any faith and none, has helped more than 3,000 children through bereavement.

Glasgow evening times

Third Force News

One year since first Refugees from Syria

More than 1,200 Syrian refugees have been welcomed to Scotland since the first flight arrived in Glasgow 12 months ago.

The Church of Scotland has been at the forefront of a national response to ensure that men, women and children fleeing armed conflict and persecution are given the help and support they need to settle into communities.

David Bradwell appeared on BBC Radio Scotland to speak about what the Church of Scotland has been doing to assist and to look at the difficulties that refugees face. 

Rev Shuna Dicks, of Aberlour Parish Church, featured in the Press & Journal and Northern Scot, discussing what she and the local community around Moray has been doing to help five refugee families to settle. You can read more about this on our website.

Funeral Poverty

The rate of so-called 'pauper funerals' has increased by 24% over the last year. Rev Dr Derek Browning explained in a piece for The Herald what is like to do a funeral for someone who has no known connections.

Unfortunately The Herald initially referred to Dr Browning as the Moderator, however this was corrected to Moderator Designate in the online edition of The Herald.