Church in the News: 28 November, 2016

News highlights Tuesday 22 - Monday 28

Church expresses concern at the Chancellor's Autumn Statement

Church leaders have warned that a freeze to state benefits combined with an expected rise in inflation will hit the poorest people in society “harder and faster”.

Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland , has urged the UK Government to provide assurances that vulnerable families will be protected from further erosion of the value of support payments.

The Christian press covered this in:

Christian Today

Read our own article on the subject.

Owl see you at the altar

A Church of Scotland minister was sworn to secrecy by a bridegroom, when he officiated at a traditional wedding ceremony with an unusual twist.

The Wilkinsons had their wedding rings delivered down the aisle by a barn owl.

Karl Wilkinson surprised his bride, Emma-Jane, by having their wedding rings delivered by a trained barn owl.

Rev Adam Hood, who leads St Andrews Wallace Green Church of Scotland in Berwick-upon-Tweed, said he enjoyed the surprise and would do it again.

“The owls had a deep symbolic meaning for the couple, so I was very pleased to take part in what was a very happy occasion,” he said.

“The service was completely traditional until it came time for the exchange of rings."

“You worry about something so different and out of your control but it all went perfectly and it was all great fun," said Mr Hood.

“The wedding itself was a very happy and positive occasion, people enjoyed themselves.

The story has had some great covereage including The Times,  The Sun (with a lot of puns!) and Metro.

Honorary Doctorate for former Moderator

Congratulations to the Very Rev John Chalmers, who was awarded an honorary doctorate from Aberdeen University last Friday.

Ministers interviewed about recruitment

Rev Stuart Love and Rev Graham Blount were interviewed last Thursday morning by BBC Radio Scotland's John Beattie programme for a piece about younger people entering the ministry which is due to be broadcast later.

Jane Haining's will to feature on the Antiques Roadshow

Jane Haining's story continues to attract attention, with Cameron Brooks attending a recording of the BBC Antiques Roadshow at the weekend. Cameron was trusted with the safe keeping of Jane's recently rediscovered artefacts to be featured in a special programme about the holocaust. The programme will be aired in January with Fiona Bruce talking to two of Jane's relatives who travelled from Northern Ireland to appear in the show.  

Issues with the Humanist Society

A request was made for a humanist funeral in a church-owned, but publicly funded community hall in Golspie. Unfortunately this local issue has received negative covereage in The Herald and The Scotsman. It is likely that the amount of negative press on similar issues will increase in the future as more people opt for Humanist funerals.  

Calling all Councils & Departments!

Media outlets are now contacting us seeking good stories they can feature over the quiet period around Christmas and New Year. This is the ideal opportunity to get interesting and non-time sensitive stories in the media, especially if they have a Christmassy feel to them or deal with emotive issues such as homelessness and loneliness which people are especially thinking about as they buy presents and think about spending time with their family.