Church in the news

The latest news on The Church of Scotland's work, events and activities from external media outlets.

Tuesday 3 May, 2016

The Scotsman and the Evening News reported that residents of an Edinburgh homeless hostel are getting a good night's sleep after the St Giles Cathedral neighborhood group raised funds to buy noise-canceling curtains. The hostel, run by CrossReach is situated in the Cowgate, one of the city centres busiest spots for nightlife.

The Scotsman also looks at the mystery of St Columba's lost library in an article about Scottish historical mysteries. The story is part of a series on Scottish history that includes 'Five Churches of Scotland With Dark and Bloody Pasts'

Monday 2 May, 2016

The East Lothian News reports that Rev Kristina Herbold Ross is leaving Chalmers Memorial Church in Port Seton for a new post.

"After five years at the county church, Mrs Herbold Ross is joining Work Place Chaplaincy Scotland to become its Workplace Chaplain for Edinburgh West, which includes the airport, The Gyle Shopping Centre, and offices at Edinburgh Park.

"She said in the church newsletter that she was sad to leave the Port Seton community but was looking forward to a new challenge of bringing the word of God to the workplace." 

The Herald reports that Rev Neil Dougall who is the third generation in his family to be a minister has been elected as Moderator of the Presbytery of Lothian. (print p8)

We were pleased to see that the Herald printed a correction on page 2 of Saturday's paper to their inaccurate story of last Wednesday about Largs St Columba. The correction removed incorrect references to 'senior Church of Scotland officials' and incorrectly identified the session clerk.

The Press and Journal reports that John Johnston, 95, a D-Day veteran, who was awarded France's highest honour chose to receive it at his kirk.
"The 95-year-old said: "I asked the minister at Dyce Parish Church, as I wanted to have all my family and friends there to see it."
"Mr Johnstone was awarded the Ordre national de la L├ęgion d'honneur, with the highest rank of chevalier, after applying for it in 2015." (Print p26)

Christianity Magazine and the ReliefWeb website report that the Church of Sctoland was one of 85 faith groups and NGOs to sign a letter to Presidents Putin and Obama urging action to stop violence in Syria. Christianity says:

"Violence across Syria has escalated alarmingly, reportedly claiming a life on average every 25 minutes in the past 48 hours.

"We cannot stand by in the face of this catastrophe. Global NGOs and faith groups demand that President Barack Obama and President Vladimir Putin immediately use their personal diplomatic engagement to save what remains of the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement.

"In recent days, unacceptable violations of Syria's CoH and the rules of international law have threatened to doom the initiative in its entirety. Numerous strikes on civilians, including several targeting medical facilities and rescue workers, have killed dozens.

"This must stop now. Just weeks ago, the US and Russia helped secure the CoH, providing a glimpse of what a respite from violence means for people in Syria."

Mission and discipleship development worker and researcher Dr Steve Aisthorpe was interviewed by BBC Radio Foyleabout his new book The Invisible Church and its findings on the numbers of people who have a strong faith and commitment to Christianity despite a lack of connection to a particular church. The interview was broadcast across Northern Ireland. (1:15:54)

The Church of Scotland monthly newsletter has been sent out. You can view the current newsletter on our website, or subscribe to get the newsletter delivered to your email inbox and be among the first to view new videos and read about intiatives underway such as the just-launched Take a Pew campaign.

Friday 29 April, 2016

Media outlets across the country are reporting that a site in Selkirk has been identified as the place where William Wallace was appointed Guardian of Scotland.

BBC online reports:

"Archaeologists believe they have uncovered the remains of the medieval Borders kirk where William Wallace was appointed Guardian of Scotland. The historic event occurred after he defeated English forces at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. A ceremony took place in front of gathered nobles and clergy in the Kirk o' the Forest in Selkirk.

"A geophysics survey in the ruins of the town's 18th Century Auld Kirk has revealed remains of a medieval chapel." Read more on the BBC website.

The story is also reported in:

The Sun (print p34)

The Scotsman

The Herald (print p1)

Fife Todayreports that Kirkcaldy Old Kirk is inviting people to welcome May by climbing to the top of the Church tower and singing together.

"Kirkcaldy's Old Kirk is inviting locals to climb the 15th century tower at 6am on Sunday morning to welcome Spring from the top of the church with Easter songs. The practice was first brought to the Old Kirk by the organist and choirmaster James Gray over 100 years ago. May morning singers should assemble at the back door of the church just before 6am to climb the stairs to the parapet gallery and continue the tradition. Anyone with a portable musical instrument or camera can bring them too."

The Aberdeen Evening Express reports that plans to turn the former Mearns Coastal Church in Johnshaven into flats have been approved despite an objection by some neighbours that it would increase the number of cars parking nearby. (print p 17)

The Press and Journal's My Job feature in its Highlands and Islands edition looks at reasons to work for CrossReach, saying: "It's work you can believe in." (print p9)

The Press and Journal also reports that the area around St Clement's Kirk, a mediaeval church in Aberdeen, is being used by addicts and prostitutes, who have left bottles, condoms and needles littering the area. The Church was closed in the 1980s and is no longer owned by the Church. (print p8)

Wednesday 27 April, 2016

The Press and Journal reports Rev Ian Aitken from Stockethill Church has been nominated as the Moderator Designate of the Presbytery of Aberdeen for 2016/17. (print only, P8)

The Times website carries the story about the pioneer ministry being created to serve the artistic community in Glasgow.

The Herald and the Glasgow Evening Times have both published their interpretation of an employment tribunal ruling involving the congregation at Largs St columba, which highlights a number of unsubstantiated allegations made during a grievance process. The headline reads "Organist told to 'keep quiet' after gay porn allegation". The paper has a legal right to report the outcome of the tribunal hearing as long as it is done in a fair and accurate manner. The Communications team worked with The Herald to clarify a number of points in the ruling, which was mostly devoted to other contractual matters relevant to the tribunal. We are disappointed with the manner they chose to report a small aspect of the hearing, the prominence they gave the story and the continued serious inaccuracies in their report over the designation, status and motivation of those involved in dealing with the allegations at a congregational level in 2007. A complaint has been made to that effect with a request these errors are corrected immediately. The paper did carry a statement made by the Church which said ""We are satisfied with the outcome of the Employment Tribunal, which found in favour of the Church. During the course of the grievance process, a number of unsubstantiated allegations were made which have been consistently refuted and remain unproven despite repeated investigation."