Church in the news

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

Wednesday 13 April, 2016

The Galloway Gazette has published a photo of Christians carrying a prayer shield to Kircudbright Parish Church as part of the Pray for Scotland relay that will transport the shield across the country during the election season. (print p3) The Pray for Scotland website says:

"As it travels from town to town and local Council area to area, our prayer is that local Churches will be encouraged to come together to pray for their communities and the nation. As part of the tour, a prayer of blessing will be said by one area over the next, creating a 'river of blessing' throughout Scotland."

The Scotsman'sarticle by one of the researchers responsible for the recent social attitudes survey is now available online. Ian Montague concludes that the trend toward a more secular society may have peaked.

The Lochaber News reports on a Boys Brigade prizegiving in Fort William, saying:

"The 2nd Fort Williams Boys' Brigade's annual display and presentation of prizes was held recently in Duncansburgh MacIntosh Parish Church,Fort William.

"Two special presentations were also made to Iain Gregor, who retired after many years in charge of the junior section and to Rev Dr Adrian Varwell on his retirement after four years as the interim moderator." (print p10)

A letter to the Falkirk Herald thanks everyone who sponsored Jean Wilson, a member of Larbert East Church in her swim in aid of youth work by Larbert Churches Together Schools Workers. She has raised more than £3200. (print p36)

Tuesday 12 April, 2016

Yesterday's Press and Journal story about an Aberdeen manse advertised for sale for £1.05 million was picked up by:

The Scotsman

The Herald (print p8)

The Times (print p23)

The Express (print p17)

The Daily Mail reports that former Church and Society Council secretary Ewan Aitken who previously served as education convener on Edinburgh council has spoken out about the closure of 17 Edinburgh schools. Mr Aitken criticises the building firm as 'incompetent' saying the failures have been 'devastating' for the affected pupils. Mr Aitken defended the PPI contracts he supervised and said he is thankful taxpayers will not have to foot the bill for the repairs. (Print p4)

The Guardianincludes a letter from Church of Scotland minister Graham McGeogh who bemoans the Kirk's current policy on parental leave.

The National publishes an article on the historical Temperance movement that discusses the Church's role.

The Edinburgh Evening Newsreports on objections to development plans for southeast Edinburgh, quoting Rev Cammie Mackenzie who speaks out for Gilmerton residents, saying developers are not taking account of local development plans or the green belt and are moving to build 31,000 new houses.

The Press and Journal reports that Burghead Church of Scotland will hold a fundraiser at 10 am next Saturday to help people in Nepal rebuild after the earthquake. (print p7)

Monday 11 April, 2016

The Daily Recordfollowed up on last week's social attitudes survey with a story based on comments by the minister from Stonelaw Parish Church.

"Reverend Alistair May said recent Easter celebrations had been well attended in his Rutherglen parish.

"Reverend May, of Stonelaw Parish Church, learned of the reported loss of faith while at evening worship on an Easter holiday Sunday. He told the Reformer: "There are 70 people here tonight of all ages, turning out for a second time today, lots of singing songs prayers and stories. These local stories encourage me more than national statistics."

Scotland on Sunday included a column by one of the researchers behind the survey, Ian Montague. His conclusion? The decline in religious affiliation as measured in the report will not inevitably continue and may have already peaked since the proportion of people who say they do not belong to a religion has remained steady since 2009. (print p52)

An obituary in The Herald for Dr George McDonald a leading blood specialist and Glasgow University academic notes that while living in Milngavie he served as an elder at the St Pauls Parish Church. He was buried in Aberlour, Morayshire.

"Advancing the research into the causes and treatment of leukaemia, he gained the undying gratitude of sufferers the world over – and they wrote to tell him so. His Bone Marrow Transplant unit was opened by Her Royal Highness, Princess Diana, and many of the medical trainees from that department have gone on to hold senior positions in haematology throughout the world."

The Evening Timesreports on a Glasgow mum who is running a sponsored 10k to raise money for mental health charities after suffering from post-natal depression and receiving support from CrossReach.

"'On the outside, I was supermum. But inside, I didn't want to be here any more. Neil was so confused, he couldn't understand what was happening. If I told anyone, they said it was just the baby blues, and I would be fine. But I knew I wasn't.'

At her six-week check-up after Ronnie was born, Belinda confessed all to the midwife who referred her for counselling. She was diagnosed with PND and prescribed anti-depressants, and began counselling sessions through CrossReach Perinatal Services in the Tom Allan Centre in Glasgow.

"I went to the baby massage classes, which were just wonderful," smiles Belinda. "That beautiful, calm hour with Ronnie was amazing. I always left feeling better with a smile on my face."

The Press and Journalreports on the Moderator's forthcoming visit to Moray.

"After touching down in Moray on April 30, he will spend eight days visiting some of the area's most valued religious and community groups. Rev Morrison said the Moray Presbytery had lined up a "fascinating programme" for the trip, which involves a visit to RAF Lossiemouth and Kinloss Barracks for an insight into the role the military plays in local life….

"The Moderator will hand out long-service certificates to members of the 1st Buckie Boys Brigade and attend a service for the deaf at Bellie Church in Fochabers. He will preach at Findochty Church, Portknockie Church and St James' Church in Lossiemouth."

Readers of the Sunday Post, have inundated the paper with letters in response to an article published last week on religion in Scotland. The paper has published a few of the letters.

The Times published a column about the Columba Declaration noting the General assembly will be discussing this historic first agreement between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England. Very Rev Dr Ian Bradley, principal of St Mary's College, St Andrews, writes about the historical and current context.

The Press and Journalshowcase Rubislaw Manse, which has been put on the market by the congregation and is listed for £1.05 million. The story notes that the 6-bedroomed manse is in an area where property has increased in value many times since its purchase, and says minister Rev Robert Smith and his young family are seeking to move to a more modest residence.

"It is understood some of the proceeds from the sale of the home will be used to buy a new manse, with the bulk of the remainder going to Rubislaw Parish Church which can use the money for improvements to its buildings.

This will free up the congregational income for other church work.

Usually 10% of property sales go to the Church's central fabric fund to benefit other congregations and Go For It – a kirk fund which distributes grants to community projects across Scotland."

The Dumfries and Galloway Standard reported on calls for Scotland to give greater recognition to Rev Henry Duncan founder of the savings bank movement. "Mhairi Hastings, an assistant at the Savings Banks Museum at Ruthwell, is urging people to get to know more about the charismatic man who saved his parishioners from starvation and left a savings legacy for the world. She said: "People know all about Burns and Bruce, who have links with our region, but it is time they learned more about Henry Duncan." (Print p22)

Friday 8 April, 2016

The Scotsman has published a commentary by University of Glasgow professor Jane Mair, who co-authored the recent report funded by the Humanist society on the place of religion in Scottish Law. Professor Mair acknowledges that Scottish law does not privilege the Church except in its role in national ceremonies and on education committees. She argues that it is important to continue national discussion on religious rights as well as on citizen rights in general.

The Scotsman also reports on the death of the last resident of St Kilda, Rachel Johnson who has died at 93. Mrs Johnson's funeral was held at Clydebank's Radnow Park Parish Church this morning.

In The National, Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie writes about the Church of Scotland hustings held earlier this week at the Assembly Hall.

"As candidates we were expected to listen first, and then respond. It left us in no doubt about the high expectations the audience were setting for the new session of Parliament, especially the need for hold and progressive tax policies." (print p16)

The Scotsman published an interview with Rev Sally Foster-Fulton in its Q&A section. (7 April Print P7)

The Caithness Courier publishes a story about Church member Pauline Craw, a NHS manager who is retiring after 36 years. In the story she mentions her husband John, a Church deacon. (7 April print p4)

The Forfar Dispatchreports that Reverend Barbara Ann Sweetin, of the East and Old Church is visiting Malawi to represent the Church of Scotland at the signing of an agreement that will see additional support for the Church of Mozambique.

"Mrs Sweetin is making the trip as a member of the Church of Scotland World Mission Council's local development committee which helps to engage churches in this country with Christian congregations across the world.

"The tri-party agreement has come about due to a 150-year relationship between the Church of Scotland, Blantyre Synod in Malawi and the Church of Mozambique; Scottish missionaries were sent originally to Blantyre and the synod subsequently sent people to Mozambique.

"Mrs Sweetin said: "Numbers there are quite low and they're struggling to recruit and train ministers and maintain buildings and the plan is for all three to work together. We can help out people in Mozambique by sending missionaries and financial help administered by Blantyre Synod.

"It's about a willingness to listen and learn and keeping communication open, sharing resources financially and materially and it'll be a three-year agreement."

The story also appears in the Kirriemuir Herald.

The Press and Journal report that the funeral of Brian McKandie who was found murdered in his home in Aberdeenshire will be held 13 April in Auchterless Parish Church.