Church in the news

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

Monday 7 March, 2016

Withthe news of the death of former First Lady Nancy Reagan BBC Scotland's Good MorningScotland broadcast an interview with Rev Gordon Kirkwood who met Nancy andPresident Reagan during their visit to Scotland.(1:50:48)

The Herald reported on Humanist efforts to end Church representation in education in its story, 'Humanists step up campaign for axing of religious representatives on council education committees'.

BBC Radio Scotland also reported on the debate about church representation in schools on Sunday's Good Morning Scotland. (41:00)

The National reports on the issue in its story, 'Bid to curb influence of church in schools.' (print p8)

The National also publishes an editorial saying it supports removing church representation from education committees. (print p10)

A column in The Observer by Kevin McKenna criticises secularist efforts to remove religious representatives from education committees saying:

"The political classes don't just want to regulate what we eat and drink and how we choose to play our sports.

"They now also want to regulate how we think and in what we choose to believe.

"The politicians don't just want to regulate what we eat and drink. They want to regulate how we think Humanist Society of Scotland, an insidious and increasingly powerful lobbying group, now wants to curb the place of religion in schools too as its obsession with wiping out all traces of Christianity in Scottish public life continues." (print p33)

The Sunday Herald reported on the concerns of survivors of historic abuse quoting the Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan, who shares those concerns. Dr McLellan chaired the McLellan commission which reported on abuse within the Catholic Church and supports survivors' calls for a broader investigation. (print p 10-11) (paywall)

A column in the Daily Record by Bill Heaney casts a critical eye on the Roman Catholic Church and its handling of historical abuse in the wake of the McLellan report.

"Dr McLellan was asked to undertake "a review of all aspects of safeguarding policy, procedure and practice within the Catholic Church in Scotland".

However, the bishops made it clear it was not within the scope of the commission "to investigate or adjudicate on current or historical allegations".

In other words, the commission investigated with one hand tied behind its back. They were inhibited when it came to investigating the 61 cases of sexual abuse by clergy in the past decade – and the many other unquantified and unreported cases."

The Courier reports that a retired minister is raising money for SportsAid in support of young athletes.

"The Rev Cameron Mackenzie from Freuchie has set himself a 101-mile challenge in aid of SportsAid Scotland, which gives financial support and recognition to young sportsmen and women at the start of their careers.

The 86-year-old plans to take several weeks to walk 100 miles and swim one mile and is already a quarter of the way through the feat.

This is the second time he has undertaken a mammoth challenge in aid of charity. A few years ago he, along with family and friends, raised £10,000 for Alzheimer's Scotland."

The Greenock Telegraph reports that Lyle Church has welcomed a new minister. Rev. Owen Derrick, who grew up in Greenock has come to the Kirk after serving in the Presbyterian Church of the USA.

The Daily Record also reports that Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison is beginning his 10-day visit to Ayr Presbytery.

The Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra reported on the Church's Let's Build a House campaign which is helping people in Nepal rebuild.

The Press and Journal report on a special service that will commemorate 100 police officers who have died while serving the force in the North East of Scotland since 1871.

"The event will be held (at 10:30 am) on March 19 at Queen Street Parish Church, in Aberdeen. The names of 100 members of staff will be read out during the service and candles will be lit in their memory." (print p6)

The Courier has a short obituary for Dr Alistair Forrest, a GP in Broughty Ferry and church elder at Dundee Parish Church (St Mary's). (print p12)

Rev David Logan gave the Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Jersey discussing 'How not to worry.' (37:45)

Friday 4 March, 2016

The Daily Record has published an article about a 10 day presbytery tour of Ayrshire that the Moderator of the General Assembly the Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison is embarking on tomorrow.

The Daily Express has picked up the story about Church leaders in the Highlands criticising the local authority for increasing the cost of funerals and cremations. The article first appeared on the front page of the Press and Journal yesterday. The church's story on the subject can be read here.;

The Courier has published an article about a retired Church of Scotland minister who is putting on his walking boots in a bid to raise £10,000 for Scottish sports stars of the future. The Rev Cameron Mackenzie, 86, from Freuchie has set himself a 101 mile challenge over several weeks. (print only)

The Extra has published an article about an early day motion lodged at Westminster by MP Kirsten Oswald who praised Church of Scotland members. The article reads: "Kirsten Oswald MP has submitted an Early Day Motion in Parliament to commend the work of churches across Scotland participating in the Let's Build a House, project. The initiative has been taken up by locals in Neilston Parish Church who are fundraising to build new homes for Nepalese people affected by the earthquake that struck on 25 April 2015. With over 8,000 fatalities and over six million families rendered homeless, there are still one million people seeing out winter in temporary shelters at altitudes of over 1,500 metres. Each Church of Scotland congregation has been tasked with raising the sum of £500, enough to build a house for a Nepalese family.

The Press and Journal has published an article about a memorial service being held in an Aberdeen church to remember police officers and staff. The article reads: "A special memorial service is to be held later this month to remember 100 police officers and staff who died serving the force in the north-east. The event will be held on March 19 at Queen Street Parish Church in Aberdeen.The names of 100 members of staff will be read out during the service and candles will be lit in their memory. Kenny Thomson, the president of the north-east branch of the Retired Police Officers Association Scotland, said: "This service aims to bring people together to honour and remember their former colleagues, and support their families and friends.

Thursday 3 March, 2016

The Press and Journal has published a front page story and a full page inside about ministers in the Highlands objecting to a local authority decision to increase burial and cremation charges. The text reads: "Church leaders have accused Highland councillors of "exploiting the grief" of bereaved families by backing huge increases in funeral costs. The Kirk's attack was launched last night as the local authority's own deputy leader admitted the price rises were "extortionate" – and had "broken my heart".

The newspaper published an editorial on the issue in which it questioned whether the council's new policy would become "unstuck" under such pressure.

The Herald and the Edinburgh Evening News have published a story featuring the Moderator of the General Assembly the Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison who has welcomed an Edinburgh City Council decision not to stop Gaelic primary school pupils from attending a particular secondary school. Earlier this week he accused council officials of letting Gaelic education "wither on the vine". Dr Morrison said controversial plans by Edinburgh City Council to alter secondary education could have "disastrous consequences" for the language. (print only)

The Carrick Gazette has published an article looking ahead to the Moderator's Ayr presbytery visit, which starts on Saturday.

The Daily Record has published an article about a Bothwell youth who has won a Boys Brigade Prize. It reads: " Emily Barr, who is a lieutenant in the 1st Bothwell Company, was recently presented with a King George VI Youth Leadership Training (KGVI) course by former Church of Scotland moderator and Boys' Brigade national chaplain Andrew McLellan.;

Dunfermline Press has published an article about a Muslim leader who is due to deliver a "breaking down barriers" talk at a Church of Scotland congregation. The article reads: "The chairman of Dunfermline Mosque wants to "break down barriers" and promote greater understanding. Ajaz Mohammed has been invited to speak at the Dunfermline Presbytery Church of Scotland meeting on Thursday at St Andrew Erskine's Church. As well as discussing fund-raising to help charities and their work in the community, he'll also speak about their condemnation of ISIS terrorist attacks.

Wednesday 2 March, 2016

The Evening News reports on the Moderator's warning that Gaelic education in Edinburgh will suffer if pupils don't have access to courses taught in Gaelic at high school. (print p13) Read the online story here.

The Evening Times covers the launch of the new Affordable Credit Action Group chaired by Very Rev John Chalmers.

Scotland B2B magazine also reported on the Affordable Credit Action Group launch.

"Group chair Jeremy Peat, who is a former chief economist at RBS and a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde's International Public Policy Institute, said: 'Access to credit in Scotland is not a level playing field. Credit is – for a mixture of good and bad reasons – most expensive for those who can least afford it.

"While the regulation of payday loans has reduced the supply of expensive credit, it has done little to affect demand for short term borrowing amongst the poorest members of society or to stimulate alternative sources of supply of credit. A step-change is needed because that demand is not going away."

Annie Brown's column in the Daily Record criticises religion in schools based on the writer's experience as a child several decades ago. (print p29)

The Times continues publishing excerpts from historian Tom Devine's forthcoming book,

"Independence or Union: Scotland's Past and Scotland's Present', which examines the rise of

Scottish nationalism in the second half of the 20th century. The book looks at the influence of the church on politics. print p24 and 25)

The Aberdeen Evening Express reports that Rev Scott Rennie has founded an LGBT group for Aberdeen football fans. The paper also published an editorial praising the club for promoting tolerance. (print p24)