Church in the news

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

Wednesday 24 February, 2016

The Daily Record reports that Abernethy and Dron and Arngask Church elder Rosemary Johnston, a retired college lecturer, will be the new Convener of the Guild when Linda Young from Kirkcaldy Presbyterial Council stands down after the General Assembly in May.

The story was also reported in One News.

The Times reports that an Aberdeen teenager will standtrial for murder in the death of Cults Academy pupil Bailey Gwynne afterprosecutors rejected his plea of culpable homicide. The story notes that hundreds of puils turned out to Maryculter Parish Church to mourn their friend.(print p7) (paywall)

Ecumenical News reports that the Church of Scotland was the first church to openly support staying inthe European Union, noting that the Church of England is expected to campaign vigorously in favour of staying in the EU.

The website Reform Judaism has published a column by Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs about an ecumenical service in St Giles Cathedral to commemorate victims of the Holocaust:

"As part of a recent interfaith Holocaust memorial service, I delivered a sermon at the historic St. Giles Cathedral, the Mother Church of Scotland; I'm told I was the first rabbi ever to do so. I consider it more than a coincidence that the event took place on the 45th anniversary of my father's death, a connection that is particularly stark because my father was a Holocaust survivor."

Tuesday 23 February, 2016

The General Assembly's support for remaining within the European Union, first affirmed in 1996 and renewed in three subsequent votes the latest in 2014, was the subject of news stories from:

BBC Radio Scotland news broadcasts on Monday 22nd.

The Daily Mail's report said: "Church of Scotland moderator the Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison, who will visit Holyrood today, also backed Britain's continued EU membership." (print p2)

The Telegraph reported that: Scotland is better off in Europe, claims church leader.

"THE Church of Scotland wants Britain to remain in the European Union, the Moderator of the Kirk's general assembly said yesterday. The Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison said that at a time of 'enormous challenge' it had never been more important to maintain a broad vision and work across national boundaries to tackle the 'most serious and pressing issues of the day'." (print p6)

Ekklesia's story says the Church called for a positive debate: "Rev Dr Richard Frazer, Vice Convener of the Church of Scotland's Church and Society Council said: 'As recently as 2014 the General Assembly stated its opinion that 'it is better for Scotland, Britain and Europe for the United Kingdom to remain in the EU.'…'At a time when there is great conflict in the world, when we are faced with millions of desperate people seeking refuge in Europe and where climate change is wreaking havoc, there is a need to work internationally and globally. We need a bigger picture of the world, not a smaller one.'"

The Guardian's live blog during the negotiations reported that, "Back in the UK, the Church of Scotland has intervened in discussions over the forthcoming referendum by calling for a "positive debate" about the EU's role in promoting international peace and cooperation."

The Press and Journal reports that a boy will appear in court charged with the murder of Cults Academy pupil Bailey Gwynne. The story mentions the Church memorial service held after Bailey's death. (print p8)

Also in the Press and Journal, a column by Ron Ferguson discusses Church history. (print p22)

The Courier reports that Rosemary Johnston a retired college lecturer from Perth has been named as the new national convener of The Guild. (print p9)

The Motherwell Times reports on the opening of a new church building and the installation of a new minister, Rev Alan Gibson.

"The new £800,000 sanctuary and community facilities of Motherwell South Parish Church opened last week at an official dedication ceremony… The Rev Gibson is delighted to be taking up the post at the brand-new church complex in Gavin Street, which has been a product of two years of dedication and hard work by the congregation.

He said: "The construction of the new facility reflects the remarkable dedication of the congregation throughout their journey to build something that is at the heart of the community."

Monday 22 February, 2016

The funeral of Mrs Mary Logie and the words of her minister Gilbert Nisbet were reported across the media.

The Daily Record quoted Rev Gilbert Nisbet's words at the service:"We can't let the terrible action that caused the death of Rae fester into bitterness in our hearts."

The Herald reported that, Tributes paid to 'kind-hearted' Fife pensioner at funeral service .

BBC online.

Forth 1.

Glasgow Evening Times.

The Scotsman and The Evening News reported on the tributes paid to Mrs Logie, in the story Murdered Fife Pensioner Mary Logie Remembered by Family.

The Daily Express reported: Mourners Farewell to 'kind and helpful' OAP (Print p11)

The Courier (print p1)

The Times (print p18)

The Sun (print p35)

The Daily Star (print p7)

The Press and Journal report today on flood recovery in Ballater, noting that donations to the Ballater Flood Fund have reached almost £10,000. Kirk minister Rev David Barr says some are still homeless and a temporary caravan site is one of the ideas under consideration.

"Bringing up Grandbaby", on BBC Radio Scotland last Sunday morning interviewed Church of Scotland minister Rev Gillean Maclean talking about her role as a grandparent. (14:40)

The Scotsman publishes an obituary for Rev Archie Ferguson who has died aged 85.

"The Rev Archie Ferguson, a distinguished, far-travelled Fellow of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects who was one of the first auxiliary ministers recruited by the Church of Scotland, has died aged 85.

"Then, in the late 1970s, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland established a committee, in which the Cardross minister, the late Rev Andrew Scobie, was involved to look at recruitment to the ministry and it produced the plan for an auxiliary ministry.

"Cardross Parish Church was chosen to look after two of the very early students of this new-style ministry, the late the Rev Harry Dutch, head of public relations for Strathclyde Regional Council, and the late the Rev Roy Wilson, who spent time in training there.

"Witnessing these new developments, Archie himself felt called to serve the church in this way and so began a spell of arduous studying, essay writing and practical training, culminating in his Ordination to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in 1988."

The Daily Record reports that Rev Ada Macleod is the new minister at Toryglen Parish Church.

"Ada herself has taken a long journey to reach this point. Over the years she's worked on Spotlight, the Church of Scotland's magazine for women, as well as being general secretary of the Sunday Schools union and then in pulpit supply at several different churches, while her husband Calum is also a minister, based at Cardonald Church

"She's spent time as an assistant minister at Glasgow Cathedral and at Paisley Abbey, where she was based before her move to Toryglen.

"While based in Glasgow, Ada was also called upon to mark one of the city's darkest days, when she was at the service to remember the victims of the Clutha disaster."

The Heraldpublishes a letter that says the Pope's criticism of Donald Trump could affect his election chances.


The Royal Gazette in Bermuda publishes an obituary for Church of Scotland elder Bertram Guishard, a prominent educator who was influential in the founding of the Bermuda College.

"Mr Guishard maintained a lifelong interest in Bermudian education, later recalling his advocacy for getting training programmes in place when the college was first established. Previously he had taught at the Bermuda Technical Institute, starting in 1963 and bearing witness to the racial integration of the island's educational system…

"In addition, Mr Guishard served as secretary and then vice-chairman of the Berkeley Education Society. Mr Guishard was a life member of the Bermuda Union of Teachers, having joined its predecessor organisation in 1944.

"He was also a life member of the Royal Society of Arts and, since 2003, an elder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Christ Church, Warwick."

The proposed Columba Declaration, the first formal agreement between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England, continues to be reported.

The Tablet.

Ekklesia.

The John o'Groat and Caithness Journal reports on Highland Council's proposal to increase the cost of burials.

"A CAITHNESS minister is accusing Highland Council of trying to make savings "on the back of bereaved families" with its move to ramp up the cost of burials. The Rev John Nugent, the Church of Scotland minister at Wick St Fergus, is urging the local authority to rethink the proposal which it is due to firm up next week as part of a £40 million package of cuts.

"Under the plan, the cost of burials would increase from £638 to £970 from the start of April. Cremations would rise from £638 to £849 while the cost of a burial lair would go up from £566 to £753.

"Mr Nugent hit out at the planned rises and said: "That is the last thing families need at such a time. Making savings on the back of bereaved families can't be justified at all. It is absolutely shocking."

Friday 19 February, 2016

The funeral of church member Mary 'Rae' Logie, who was found dead in her home last month after being attacked, is being held today in Leven Parish Church. Cameron Brooks from the Communications department will be at the funeral helping minister Rev Gilbert Nesbit and working with the media.

Reporting on the funeral in advance were:

The Evening Express.

The Press and Journal.

Forth1.com.

The Courier reports that a Muslim cleric from Dunfermline has criticised Donald Trump for his anti-Muslim statements. The story also notes that Very Rev Andrew McLellan has made similar criticisms.

"Ajaz Mohammed, chairman of Dunfermline Islamic Mosque, said Muslims are being targeted in a backlash against ISIS by those who think the terror group's warped interpretation of Islam is representative of the faith…

"Church of Scotland minister The Very Rev Andrew McLellan said figures like Mr Trump have helped create a "dangerous" climate where violence and intimidation against Muslims can thrive.

"Earlier this year Dunfermline Muslims told Mr McLellan that Islamophobic attacks were "much worse in the last year than ever before".

"I was ashamed. The peace of Scotland is at stake unless Christians and Muslims learn to love each other," the minister told Dunfermline Abbey on Sunday."

The Evening Times reports that Children in Need is supporting charities in Glasgow with funding of £375,426. Among the charities receiving support is Richmond's Hope, a bereavement service for children based at Ibrox Parish Church. (print p4)

The Daily Record reports that four Paisley Boys Brigade volunteers have graduated from the King George VI Youth Leadership Training course.

"Fraser Digney, from the 3rd Johnstone Company, joins Kalesha Mayne, from the 8th Paisley Company; Jack Mitchell, from the 1st Elderslie Company and Nathan Orr, from the 1st Erskine Company.

"Each was presented with their certificates by the Very Reverend Andrew McLellan, Brigade National Chaplain and former Moderator of the Church of Scotland, at a special graduation ceremony at Kirkton Parish Church, in Carluke, on Saturday."

The Tablet reported on the Columba Declaration and the Moderator's address to the Church of England Synod.

Common Weal reports that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will give keynote speech at anti-Trident rally in London. The story notes that the Church is among several civic organisations which have opposed nuclear weapons.

"In November 2015 the Scottish Parliament voted against trident renewal with a 74 per cent majority. The historic vote followed a Scottish Labour conference which voted against trident renewal, reflecting a change in stance after the election of anti-nuclear weapons campaigner Jeremy Corbyn as UK party leader.

;"The demonstration has drawn significant civil society support, with dozens of organisations supporting the demonstration including Stop the War Coalition, War on Want, Campaign Against Arms Trade, the Church of Scotland and Greenpeace."