Church in the News: 7 November, 2016

Church in the News Wednesday 2  - Monday 7 November

Smacking Ban

Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, has urged MSPs to acknowledge the recommendations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and remove the defence of "justifiable assault" from the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003.

He added that the move must be a priority and would grant youngsters under 16 the same rights as adults.

Dr Frazer addressed the Equal Protection for Children seminar at the Scottish Parliament last week and highlighted research showing that physical punishment is harmful for children’s health and that legal reform should be a priority for the Scottish Government.

The story was picked up by the following news outlets:

The Times
The Herald

Church Speaks Out on effect of Benefit Cap on children

The Church of Scotland has heavily criticised the effect that the new benefit cap will have on children. 

More information is available on the BBC website.

The Church's stance was repeated on news bulletins this morning on BBC Radio Scotland and today's BBC 1 Breakfast. Rev Dr Richard Frazer appeared on BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland (42") this morning to discuss the issue.  

Role of Religion in Schools

Rev Dr Richard Frazer contributed to a BBC 1 Sunday Politics Scotland (1"01'18) television discussion on the role of religion in schools. Dr Frazer welcomed a Scottish government consultation on the issue saying "learning about other faiths; learning about how other people live their lives is actually quite an important aspect of living in a pluralistic society where people have tolerance, respect for one another and an understanding of what drives people in their lives." 

The Herald

Kirk of St Nicholas holds service of remembrance for oil and gas workers who died offshore

On Saturday a special Service of Remembrance for all those who have died offshore was held at the Kirk of St Nicholas in Union Street, Aberdeen.

The service of commemoration is held annually on the first Saturday in November at the Kirk of St Nicholas. The Kirk is home to the Oil and Gas chapel which houses the Books of Remembrance where the names of those who have died offshore are inscribed.

A candle was lit to open the service in memory of all who have died offshore since the industry began.

Afterwards a candle was lit for the four people who have died offshore in the last year.

This year an additional candle was lit to commemorate the 45 men who died when a Chinook helicopter crashed off Sumburgh in Shetland on 6 November 1986.

The service was covered by major press outlets including

The Sunday Herald

Press and Journal

Daily Record

Pioneer Arts Minister in Post

A new minister dedicated to the visual arts community has been welcomed into his post with a ceremony that showcased a stunning installation in Renfield St Stephens Church of Scotland in Glasgow.

Rev Peter Gardner marked the start of his pioneering ministry by creating Lightlines, a kinetic installation made from 153 recycled glass jars suspended from the church ceiling on nylon cords and partially filled with water, making each one a vessel to catch the light.

Glasgow Evening Times

Rev John Murray Speaks out

Rev John Murray of Kilmuir and Stenscholl, Skye, has heavily critiscised decisions to move NHS services from Portree to Broadford.  

You can read more about the story in the The Herald and Press and Journal

This week Church of Scotland stories appeared in national newspapers a total of sixteen times and local newspapers a total of ninety-four times.