Church in the news

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

Monday 6 February, 2017

Church in the news highlights Tuesday 31 January - Monday 6 February

Moderator "horrified" at Trump travel ban

Right Rev Dr Russell Barr released a statement on President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration.

Dr Barr said: “As Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, I am horrified that President Trump has signed an executive order suspending admission of refugees to the United States for 120 days, and banning travellers from seven countries from entering the US for the next three months.

The statement has received widespread attention from the press, including: The Herald, Daily Mail, Courier, The Edinburgh Reporter, Edinburgh Evening News, The National, across around 80 local Scottish news publications.

Read the full statement.

A former Moderator has officially become the Church of Scotland’s first ever digital minister

Very Rev Albert Bogle will use his ground breaking new role to create an online Kirk congregation, made up of people who may never set foot in a “real world” church.

He hopes to vastly increase the number of congregations that use social media and other online apps because at the moment only around 20 out of more than 1,300 congregations stream their services online.

The Sunday Herald published a half-page article on the subject.

It also appeared in:

The Scotsman, i, The National, and Premier

New parish nurse to provide healthcare and spiritual support

A Parish Nurse has been recruited to provide holistic healthcare and spiritual support to people in Dumfries.

Catriona Logan is the first practitioner of this kind in the south of Scotland and will be based in St Mary’s Greyfriars’ Church of Scotland.

Mrs Logan, who was a senior charge nurse at Royal Dundee Liff Hospital until she retired, will spend most of her time in the community, providing assistance to people, particularly those who feel isolated, two days a week.

The story was picked up by: The Daily Record, Daily Mail, The Herald, Dumfries & Galloway Standard, MSN UK
BBC Radio Cumbria http://www.pressdata.co.uk/viewbroadcast.asp?a_id=12010744

Ministers urged to raise child benefit by £5

The Scottish Government is being urged to use new powers to chart a different course from the rest of the UK and help lift 30,000 children out of poverty.

The Church of Scotland is encouraging MSPs to consider a £5 a week increase in Child Benefit as part of the Scottish Budget.

i newspaper, Fraserburgh Herald, Hawick Today, Cumbernauld Today, Rev Richard Frazer was also interviewed on the subject on BBC Radio Scotland.

Church vandalised in Perth

The Courier has a front page lead and page 6 article on Blackford Parish Church, near Gleneagles which was extensively vandalised at the weekend. It is not clear how long the church will have to close for but the damage was extensive, with the pulpit toppled, and the christening font broken.

National child abuse inquiry

The Church of Scotland is assisting the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry which is examining incidents that allegedly took place at three residential care establishments run by the Church.

They are Ballikinrain School, Geilsland Residential School, and the Lord and Lady Polwarth Home for Children in Edinburgh.

A spokesperson for the Social Care Council of the Church of Scotland said: “As a provider of residential care for children over the past 100 years, The Church of Scotland understand the remit of the Inquiry and are co-operating fully with any requests for information.

“We have not, at this time, applied for Core Participant Status but the position has been, and will remain, under active consideration.”

Monday 30 January, 2017

Church in the news highlights Tuesday 24 - Monday 30 January

Richmond's Hope branches out to Glasgow

After £100,000 of fundraising, a new centre for bereavement charity Richmond's Hope has been officially opened in Glasgow. Based out of Ibrox Parish Church, the new centre will provide support for around 200 children over three years. The charity was co-founded fourteen years ago in Edinburgh & West Lothian by Rev Liz Henderson.

The story was covered in the following:

STV website, Glasgow Evening Times, Clyde 1, Edinburgh Evening News, BBC website

Pupils bring Jane Haining's story to life

A performance by drama students at Braes High School in Polmont highlighted the heartbreaking moment when Jane Haining was arrested by the Gestapo and taken away to her eventual death.

The event took place in honour of Holocaust Memorial Day and was also attended by World Mission Secretary Ian Alexander.

The story was covered in the following:

Daily Record, The National and The Herald

Concern raised at Polmont Young Offenders Institution deaths

Rev Graham Blount spoke on STV's News at Six in the wake of two suicides in two weeks at Polmont Young Offenders Institution. Mr Blount spoke of the pressure that young men bring with them to prison and the toll that this can take on their mental health.

New Banchory Minister puts faith in youth

An Aberdeenshire church ordained a new minister last night who will solely be responsible for nurturing young people.

Amy Pierce said she was very much looking forward to her new role as Associate Minister at Banchory East and West congregations, which both have a thriving youth membership.

The story was covered in the Press & Journal and the Aberdeen Evening News.

Kirk Condemns anti-catholic attack

The Church of Scotland has condemned an episode where the priest and congregation of St John and St Columba's Catholic Church in Rosyth were showered with eggs. Ecumenical officer Rev Dr John McPake stressed the importance of freedom expression of faith. The story was published in the Courier and in local news.

Rev Aquila Singh

Rev Aquila Singh was interviewed yesterday morning about becoming the first Asian female Kirk minister on BBC Radio Scotland.

Bride who asked for food bank donations instead of gifts continues to pick up press

Finally, The Daily Record published a full page article about Emma Thompson, who recently got married in St Machar's Cathedral, and requested donations to a food bank instead of wedding presents. The story was also published in the Press & Journal and Aberdeen Evening Express.

Monday 30 January, 2017

Church in the News highlights Tuesday 17 - Monday 23 January

Moderator in fresh plea to end homelessness

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has issued a fresh challenge to end the “continuing scandal” of homelessness.

Right Rev Dr Russell Barr said he believed the country’s leaders knew how to tackle the problem but questioned whether they had the will and heart to do it.

Speaking at Dunkeld Cathedral on what is Homelessness Sunday, he said Scotland was at best managing homelessness and had “long lost the ambition” to eradicate it.

The story was picked up by The Herald, The Scotsman, and The Courier,

Brand new Church of Scotland campus minister role

Rev Dr Liam Fraser was ordained and inducted into the "exciting, groundbreaking" new role at the University of Edinburgh during a service at St Giles Cathedral in the capital.

The 30-year-old said he was really looking forward to challenging widespread skepticism and indifference toward the Christian faith among the 50,000 people strong university community.

Dr Fraser plans to engage with students in pubs, cafes, libraries, the chaplaincy centre and in the corridors of the university.

Edinburgh Evening News
The Herald

'Face to Face' interview with Rev Aquila Singh

A large feature on Rev Aquila Singh as part of their 'Face to Face' series provides further positive coverage from the The Herald . In this sympathetic piece, Ms Sigh discusses her career change and the journey that lead her to become the first Asian female minister in the Church of Scotland.

A former supermarket checkout worker has become the third female minster to be inducted in churches within Lanark Presbytery in less than a year

Louise Mackay, 27, was ordained into St Nicholas Church in Lanark as her mentor Moderator of the General Assembly, Right Rev Dr Russell Barr, proudly looked on.

Rev Elspeth MacLean, 61, a former small animal Vet, took up her post at Forth St Paul's Parish Church in September last year.

And Rev Maudeen MacDougall started work as the minister for the parishes of Carstairs and Carnwath, in March 2016.

The story received coverage in Edinburgh Evening News, Carluke Gazette and Border Telegraph.


Couple ask for foodbank donations instead of gifts

Emma and Richard Thompson, who got married at St Machar’s Cathedral in Aberdeen, decided they wanted to give something back to their local community to mark their happy day.

They were inspired to act after listening to a sermon by their minister, Rev Barry Dunsmore, who told the Bible story of the Rich Man and Lazarus from the Gospel of Luke.

Mr Dunsmore, who married the couple at St Machar’s Cathedral earlier this month, described their selfless actions as “a wonderful gesture” which he hoped would inspire others.

The story was published in the Ellon Times and the Aberdeen Evening Express.

Monday 16 January, 2017

Church in the News highlights Tuesday 10 - Monday 16 January

First Female Asian Minister

A former computing teacher has been ordained as the Church of Scotland’s first Asian female minister.

Aquila Singh, who was brought up in the Christian faith from birth, was ordained and inducted into Fernhill and Cathkin Parish Church in Rutherglen.

She said she was “delighted” that she had been called to her first charge and excited at the prospect of leading the congregation and working with the local community.

A Facebook post about Ms Singh's new role has done incredibly well and has been shared over 600 times, liked 4,000 times, and reached a record 184,000 people.

The story was also widely picked up in the press including:

BBC news online
Daily Mail
i
Metro
The Herald
BBC News online
The Scotsman
Daily Record
Press & Journal
The Sun

Premier
+ 10 local newspapers

Ms Singh Was also on BBC Radio Scotland.

Antiques Roadshow sheds more light on Jane Haining's story

Intriguing new details about a long lost ring that belonged to Jane Haining were revealed on the Antiques Roadshow yesterday.

Her ring was analysed by expert John Benjamin for a special episode of the BBC One programme to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

He shared with her two nieces, Deirdre McDowell and Jane McIvor, his professional opinion that casts fresh light on the origins of the gold and red garnet stone ring.

It was recently returned to the Kirk offices in Edinburgh by a relative of one of Miss Haining's former work colleagues in Paisley.

Watch an excerpt from Antiques Roadshow.

Elsewhere the story of the ring was covered in:

The Daily ExpressEdinburgh Evening News
The Scotsman
The Herald
The Times
Daily Mail
Press & Journal
Daily Record
Philippine Times
The Sun
Around 35 local titles across the UK

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio Scotland


New appointment for St Nicholas Church, Lanark

A former supermarket checkout worker has become the third women minster to be ordained in churches within Lanark Presbytery in less than a year.

Louise Mackay, 27, was ordained and inducted into St Nicholas Church in Lanark as her mentor Moderator of the General Assembly, Right Rev Dr Russell Barr, proudly looked on.

Rev Elspeth MacLean, 61, a former small animal Vet, took up her post at Forth St Paul's Parish Church in September last year.

And Rev Maudeen MacDougall started work as the minister for the parishes of Carstairs and Carnwath, in March 2016.

The story was reported in The Scotsman, The Herald, The Edinburgh Reporter

Royal surprise at Ballater flood-fund fundraising night

The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay were the surprise guests of honour at a special concert to raise money for people affected by severe flooding on Royal Deeside.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla surprised hundreds of people gathered in Glenmuick Kirk in Ballater on Friday for the launch of a charity CD featuring choral renditions of works by celebrated poet, Robert Burns.

The story was reported in the Aberdeen Evening Express, The Press & Journal, and BBC online.