Church in the news

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

Monday 14 March, 2016

Fife Today reports that Cupar Old and St Michael of Tarvit Parish Church has inducted Reverend Jeff Martin as its new minister.

"The church - which is linked with Monimail - was packed for the occasion, with worshippers drawn from all over Fife and beyond. The induction ceremony was performed by the Moderator of St Andrews Presbytery, Rev. Dr Ann Allison.

"Jeff, who is from the United States, moved to Scotland in 2014 with his wife Lynn and sons Asher (17) and Declan (10), having spent 14 years as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in the Missouri town of Boonsville, which is similar in size to Cupar."

Premier Christian reports that Church services in Dunblane churches included prayers for the families and the children who were killed 20 years ago by a gunman.

The Herald reported on the Dunblane anniversary and included a quote from Rev Colin Renwick.

BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland reported on the Church of Scotland's bid to hire a minister for the farming community in Ayrshire. (47:42)

The Edinburgh Evening News reported that after discussions with Churches and other community groups Edinburgh Council is revising its plan to charge for parking all day on Sunday. The plan is now to charge only for Sunday afternoon. Rev George Whyte is quoted welcoming the decision and saying both Christians and Muslims had been concerned about the impact on community activities. (Print p1 and 7)

The Evening News also reported on the reopening of the Thistle Chapel in St Giles cathedral. (print p9)

Friday 11 March, 2016

Politics Home online reports on the Archbishop of Canterbury's statements on the EU debate saying:

"So it was inevitable that sooner or later somebody would speculate on the voting preference of the Almighty. A new group called Christians for Britain, launching this month, has come close to doing just that, claiming theological justification for a Europe of free nations under God – and comparing leaving the EU to the Reformation. They've dubbed themselves the 'BeLeavers'.

"On the other side of the divide, both the Church of Scotland and the Vatican have made clear their opposition to the idea of a Brexit, with the latter warning it was 'something that is not going to make a stronger Europe'."

Third Force News reports that the Church of Scotland has voiced support of the Stick Your Labels campaign that seeks to end the stigma attached to poverty.

"Leading political figures have backed a series of pledges committing to tackle the stigma of poverty ahead of May's Scottish Parliament elections.

"All five leaders of Scotland's main parties signed the pledges as part of Poverty Alliance's Stick Your Labels campaign which seeks to change negative attitudes towards people living in poverty.

"The party Leaders join over 25 organisations across Scotland who have showed their support for the campaign. These include local authorities, COSLA, third sector organisations and the Church of Scotland."

Also reporting on the Stick your Labels campaign

Northsound 1

Forth 1

Clyde 1

The Church's announcement that it will appoint a farming minister has been reported by:

Farming UK News.

FG Insight

The Inverness Courier reports on funeral poverty and Churches' opposition to hikes in burial fees.

"CHURCH leaders in Inverness have added their voices to growing fears funeral poverty is set to increase with the cost of burials and cremations in the Highlands jumping massively from next month. Ministers and elders of the city's Church of Scotland Presbytery have written to Highland Council outlining their concerns about the potential impact on the bereaved." (printp3)

The Courier reports on a Dundee fire that killed a mother and son and left 10 people homeless. Stobswell Parish Church has offered shelter to the displaced people in Park Avenue Church Hall. (print p2 and3)

The East Fife Mail remembers Mary 'Rae' Logie the pensioner who was killed in her home earlier this year. The story quotes Rev Gilbert Nisbet and says money raised at her funeral will benefit Leven Parish Church and the SSPCA. (print p3)

The Greenock Telegraph reports that Lyle Kirk held a Souper Sunday event to raise funds for the Church's HIV programmes in its story 'Raising Funds and Tackling Ignorance' (print p27)

The Oban Times reports on the Moderator's meeting with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and other political leaders during his week at Holyrood. The story notes that Dr Morrison discussed freedom of religion, mental health, the EU Referendum, refugees and inequality with party leaders. (print p25)

The Northern Times reports on the reopening of West Church Hall in Dornoch after refurbishment.

"A Ceilidh and a service of rededication marked the reopening of the West Church Hall in Dornoch at; the weekend, after its extensive refurbishment.

"The Very Rev John Chalmers, a Queen's chaplain and principal clerk to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland an ex Moderator, was there to lead the service and a piper then led the congregation from Dornoch Cathedral, along Castle Street; to the hall for a prayer of rededication." (print p3)

Church Times publishes a story about the Columba Declaration and the debate in the Church of England Synod that approved the report on formalising the relationship between the Church of England and the Church of Scotland. (print p26)

The Northern Scot reports that Rev Geoff McKee is the new minister for two Lossiemouth congregations – St James and St Gerardine's High. (print p29)

The Northern Scot also reports that 17 Guilds have contributed knitted items to raise funds for children's and women's charities in Kenya supported by the Balcraig Foundation.

"Knitters from across Moray have risen to the challenge of producing hundreds of five, six and eight-inch squares as part of a campaign by the Moray West Presbyterial Council of the Church of Scotland Guild." (print p6)

The Southern Reporter covers the retirement due to illness of Borders minister the Rev Tom MCDonald, saying he received two standing ovations when he preached his final sermon in Kelso. (print p22)

The Southern Reporter also reviews Rev Jack Kellet's memoir, which it calls, hilarious and packed with anecdotes, saying: "'Oh! It's Yersel, Ya Bugger', is expected to raise more than a few eyebrows from the God-loving faithful." (print p45)

The Strathearn Herald reports on plans to develop St Kessog's Square which will be retained as a community space. Comrie Parish Church Kirk session will retain ownership of the square after an anonymous benefactor donated funds to ensure the space will be kept for community use. (print p3)

The Motherwell Times reports that St Bernadette's Malawi Partnership which includes North Motherwell Parish Church has raised £6,000 for a school in Namulenga, Malawi. (Print p5)

The Motherwell Times also reports on the opening of a new £800,000 sanctuary and community space at Motherwell South Parish Church. (print p30)

The Midlothian Advertiser reports that:

"Donation centres have been opened across Midlothian to collect much-needed winter clothing, school supplies and toiletries for Syrian refugees.

Parish churches taking donations include Penicuik North Kirk, Gorebridge, Loanhead, Mayfield, Newtongrange, Bonnyrigg and St Nicholas Buccleuch in Dalkeith. Lasswade, Beeslack and Penicuik High Schools are also taking donations, as is Loanhead Miners' Club." (print p19)

Thursday 10 March, 2016

The Church of Scotland's story about a drive to recruit a new dedicated minister for the farming community in Ayrshire made prime time news on BBC Scotland – radio, television and website - on Tuesday and was published by a range of daily newspapers including the Press and Journal and specialist publications that serve the farming community.

The Church of Scotland is appointing its first ever dedicated "farming minister" to help support people in the hard-pressed agricultural industry.

Moderator of the General Assembly the Rev Dr Angus Morrison unveiled the "innovative and creative" Pioneer Ministry post during a visit to Ayr Mart on Tuesday.

The announcement has been warmly welcomed by National Farmers Union Scotland and rural charity RSABI who say the perilous state of the ailing sector is taking a "serious" toll on the health and wellbeing of many people who too often "suffer in silence".

Union leaders say low produce prices and major problems with Common Agricultural Policy payments were contributing to high levels of stress and mental health issues among farmers, who often feel isolated and cut off from other people.

The BBC Scotland report can be found here

BBC Radio Scotland report can be listened to here

BBC Scotland online report and video can be accessed here

The Scotsman's report can be read here

The Herald's story can be read here http://bit.ly/1Letfds

The Courier's version of the story can be read here

The Scottish Farmer take on the story can be read here http://bit.ly/1TOG6Go

Premier – a Christian publication published the story

Christianity Magazine's take on the story can be read here

Farmers Guardian's take on the story can be read here;

The Press and Journal's story carried the headline Kirk's 'ground-breaking' post (print only)

The story was also carried in The National and the Glasgow Evening Times.

The Times has published an article about the way churches are now using technology to take donations for their congregation, with reference to the policy of the Church of Scotland encouraging churches to accept online donations.

Radio Four also featured the story.

The Herald and the Glasgow Evening Times have published an article about the leaders of Scotland's main political parties signing up to the Stick Your Labels project which is backed by the Church of Scotland. The initiative is aimed at tackling the stigma faced by people living in poverty.

STV's ;coverage of the story can be read here.

Tuesday 8 March, 2016

The Humanist society campaign to remove religious representation from local education committees continues to get media attention.

BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive covered the story including an interview with Graeme Donald, convener of the Church of Scotland's education committee. (47:49)

Third Force News also reported the story.

Today is International Women's Day so visit the Church's website where Speak Out has asked staff and church members to name some of their local sheroes and a roundup of some of the things the Church is doing to achieve gender justice.

The trial of a teen who fatally stabbed classmate Bailey Gwynne at Cults Academy has ended in his conviction for culpable homicide.

STV broadcast an interview with Rev Ewan Gilchrist of Cults Parish Church. (5:55)

The Daily Mail included pictures of Rev Ewan Gilchrist and the candlelight vigil held in Cults Parish Church after Bailey's death.

The Courier reports that a Boys Brigade company has responded to the World Mission Council's challenge of raising money to help people rebuild in Nepal after last year's earthquake. (print p8)

The Kirriemuir Herald and the Forfar Dispatch also report the story saying:

"Members of the 2nd Forfar Boys' Brigade have risen to a challenge laid down by the Church of Scotland to help families in Nepal made homeless by last year's earthquakes…

"The boys, who are attached to the East and Old Parish Church, have so far raised £750 thanks to a coffee morning on Saturday and a buy-a-brick campaign among parents and friends. This amount will buy one-and-a-half houses."

The Press and Journal reports that residents of a Moray village are losing their bus service and the Church is hosting a meeting to discuss alternatives.

"Approximately 930 residents in Garmouth and Kingston live at least six miles away from the nearest grocery store, and will soon be unable to reach it by bus."

"The summit will take place Tuesday 15 March in Urquhart Parish Church on the village's Main Street, from 7pm." (print p6)

BBC Radio Scotland reported that the Church is planning to recruit a minister to work with the farming community. (33:02)