Church in the news

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

Friday 18 March, 2016

Very Rev Dr Sandy McDonald's death after a long illness has been reported across the national media. The story was reported by more than 70 different news outlets including:

The Scotsman.

The Herald.

BBC Radio News bulletin. (37:10)

The Daily Express.

The Daily Mail.

Dr McDonald's local paper The Paisley Daily Express said:

"One of Scotland's best- known ministers has died after a long battle with lung disease.

"The Very Rev Dr Sandy McDonald, who was dad to actor David Tennant, passed way at Erskine Care Home yesterday. He was 78.

"One-time minister of St Mark's Oldhall Church, in Ralston, Dr McDonald was a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and was a well- known Kirk figure nationally.

"During his time as Moderator, Dr McDonald officiated at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. He was also the first Moderator to occasionally wear a kilt as part of his official garb, rather than the traditional breeches.

"For many years, he was a well-known figure to hundreds of thousands of Scots, thanks to his many appearances on STV's late-night religious programme Late Call. He also appeared with son David, who became famous when he took on the title role in long-running TV sci-fi series Doctor Who, in an episode of the popular Ready, Steady, Cook programme." (print p7)

Our own story includes tributes from the Moderator, two former Moderators and close friends of Dr McDonald.

A short video of the Moderator at an Ayrshire foodbank has reached more than 300,000 people since it was posted to the Church of Scotland's Facebook page.

Thursday 17 March, 2016

The Stirling Observer reports that Bridge of Allan Parish Church has welcomed its new minister Rev Dan Harper.

The story about the service of commemoration for the Clydebank Blitz led by the Moderator is still being published by media across the country. The Press Association's  'Resilience and courage' of people of Clydebank hailed on blitz anniversary," was published in the Mearns Leader and other local papers from the Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra to Montrose Today and the Stornoway Gazette.

The East Kilbride News reports that pupils at Calderglen High have been recognised in the Scottish Parliament for their work on an innovative befriending project where one of the partners is Claremont Parish Church. (Print p18)

Writing about education in The Times Andrew Tickell mentions the Church of Scotland's role in stimulating Scottish open non-partisan public discussion.

"In his memoir Stone Voices,Neal Ascherson describes his "bus party". Inspired by Günter Grass, in the dying days of the devolution campaign of 1997, a motley band including the late William McIlvanney, Tom Nairn and Billy Kay, toured the country with the Church of Scotland's Will Storrar playing cartographer to the group's democratic efforts." (print p32)

The Highland News reports that the congregation in Croy and Cawdor is looking for a new minister and is open to a minister in a same-sex relationship. (print p6)

"Both kirk sessions had voted unanimously to accept applications from, among others, ministers in civil partnerships and have now published their profiles in their search. It reads: "In recentdiscussions, we concluded that we are looking for someone who could lead us in reaching out to serve the needs of our community, strengthen our pastoral care and enable us to see more people worshipping regularly in our churches. "We seek a minister who is compassionate, inspirational, enthusiastic, energetic and has a clear commitment to pastoral home visiting."

The Greenock Telegraph reports that First Minister is fully behind WEvolution, the Church-backed micro-finance initiative. (print p8)

The Church of Scotland's website has published an interview with Phil Potter Archbishops' Missioner and the team leader of Fresh Expressions, who says the Kirk is moving forward very, very quickly. The story includes video of Mr Potter in conversation with David McCarthy, development worker with the Mission and Discipleship council.

Wednesday 16 March, 2016

Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison preached at Westminster Palace yesterday in a service commemorating the Clydebank Blitz. The service received wide coverage both before and after with print media quoting the Moderator's words:

"In his sermon, which he delivered at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, Dr Morrison said: 'The suffering, resilience and courage of the people of Clydebank have not always been adequately acknowledged and it is appropriate and right that we do so here today and in this capital city of our nation which itself endured the experience of destruction from the skies.

'It is a tragedy still being relived to this day in the lives of hundreds of survivors both in Scotland and scattered around the world who remain haunted by what they had to pass through in 1941.

The suffering and the destruction unleashed on Clydebank were unspeakable. But as in this city of London, as elsewhere, during the blitz, the Luftwaffe utterly failed in its aim of destroying the spirit of the people.'"

The service was reported in The Sun, The Scotsman, The Herald, the Daily Record, The Press and Journal, The National, The Evening Times and numerous smaller titles around the country.

Rev Shuna Dicks column in the Northern Scot looks at fair trade saying that buying fair trade products is one way to live out the commandment to love thy neighbour.(print p 10)

Tuesday 15 March, 2016

The Moderator is in London today preaching at the Palace of Westminster at the first-ever service commemorating the anniversary of the Clydebank Blitz. Our story and press release said:

"The Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison will deliver a sermon at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft to remember the people killed and those badly injured in the devastating two-day air raid on March 13-14, 1941.

"The town suffered the most concentrated bomb damage of any part of Britain during the Second World War after the Luftwaffe attacked military targets including the John Brown shipyard and the Singer sewing machine factory.

"A total of 528 civilians were killed, more than 617 were severely injured and around 12,000 homes were damaged, leaving around 50,000 people homeless."

The story appeared in numerous print and broadcast media including:

The Times. (print p25)

The Herald (print p8)

The Daily Record (print p22)

The Press and Journal (print p17)

The Courier (print p21)

The Scotsman.

Rev David Barr of Glenmuick Church in Ballater was interviewed on BBC's Reporting Scotland about residents' difficulties with a particular insurance company after the January flood. (6:59)
Mr Barr said: "There's about 10 families that I know of and they range from really old people to families with children, and everything in between. Emotionally? Oh my goodness. The people are resilient but it's taking a toll. To be told nothing – you're getting nothing. And I really don't care if they hear it from me because you know what: My boss is bigger than anybody else's boss, and I just hope they take a good look at theirselves."

The Edinburgh Reporter included a listing in its daily roundup for Church and Society's 4 April Politics event which will feature leading politicians from Scotland's main political parties and speakers who will share experiences of issues that emerged from the Speak Out 10,000 Voices consultation. (Tickets still available for the 4 April event.)

Most media outlets included words from Dunblane Cathedral minister Rev Colin Renwick in their stories about the 20th anniversary of the massacre. He said:

"The tragic events of the 13th March 1996 will long be remembered in Dunblane and there has not been a day since when there has been no remembrance of those lost, injured, bereaved or traumatised. Since that day people have appreciated the support and prayers of others throughout the world, but have also valued being allowed the space to grieve and rebuild with privacy and dignity, with as little media scrutiny as possible.

"On 13th March 2016, which is a Sunday, people will gather in all of Dunblane's Churches, as is their custom. During these various services, there will be an opportunity for those who gather to remember and to pray for continuing strength and peace."

BBC online.

The Guardian.

The Herald.

The Mirror.

Mr Renwick was also quoted in The Australian, The Courier,The National, The Express, The Press and Journal, Metro and newspapers around the world.