Church in the news

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

Friday 12 February, 2016

The story of a minister who has come to Carluke from Nigeria struck a chord when it turned out one of his church elders was a missionary and delivered babies at the same hospital as the minister's mother. Reverend Dr Elijah Obinna and Dr Ann Jackson were delighted to discover their connection and meet one another. The story, developed by Cameron Brooks in the press office, was picked up by the Press Association and published in:

The Herald: (print p4)

The Press and Journal.

Evening Express.

The Carluke Gazette.

"It is said the world is a small place and God moves in mysterious ways.

"This could not be more true for former Church of Scotland missionary Dr Ann Jackson and the Rev Dr Elijah Obinna who were left stunned when they discovered they had an unexpected and surprising connection."

The Evening Times. (print p6)

An inquiry into historic child abuse of children in Scotland is under discussion after advocates, including former Moderator Very Rev Dr Andrew McClellan –who led a recent inquiry looking at abuse within the Catholic church— have called for a broader investigation. The Scottish Government has tasked the inquiry with looking at abuse of children in residential care, including residential schools, homes and treatment centres as well as foster care. Advocates want a wider brief that looks at child abuse in non-residential care settings.

The Times. (print p22)

STV West news at 6 pm reported: "Today, the Church of Scotland said it would cooperate if the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry's remit was widened…" The story went on to quote Dr. McLellan.

The Daily Express. (print news P19 and editorial p12) The editorial said:

"The long-awaited inquiry into historic child abuse in Scotland is finally set to get under way within weeks and is expected to last up to four years. Many survivors are angry, however, that Susan O'Brien QC will not consider the stories of victims in the care of religious institutions.

"Understandably, perhaps, they would like to see the Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland included in the inquiry's remit, as well as organisations such as the Scouts."

The Scotsman publishes an obituary for Anthony Curtis Wolffe MBE, an architect whose storied life includes being confirmed by the anti-nazi pastor Martin Niemoller .

"He gave liberally to others of his time, expertise and knowledge. At one time or another, he was convener of the Church of Scotland Committee on Artistic Matters, president of the Galloway Preservation Society and president of the Architectural Society of Scotland, an organisation which awarded him an Honorary Fellowship. He served as a Trustee of the Scottish Architectural Heritage Trust and was, for twenty years, an elder of Anwoth Parish. From 1981, he was a Trustee of the Murray Usher Foundation, a charity which promotes the betterment of Gatehouse-of-Fleet, including its citizens and visitors."

The Bellshill Speaker reports that a £2 million building preservation project at Bothwell Parish Church is nearing completion.

"Work has focused on the 14th century quire at the back of the building. Masonry fell from the ceiling five years ago, prompting a major programme to secure the 800-year-old foundations, stabilise the walls and replace stone slabs on the roof." (print p5)

The Berwick Advertiser reports on the progress of renovations at Lindisfarne Parish Church. (print p28)

The Berwickshire News Thought for the Day mentions the wisdom a Church of Scotland minister who told the author that, "when he was young he was impressed by people who were smart. Now he is older he is impressed by people who are kind." (print p28)

The Berwickshire News also publishes an adorable photo of children taking part in a pancake race organised by Rev Stephen Blakey. (Print p1)

The Buteman reports that an Alcoholics Anonymous group in Rothesay reaching its silver anniversary has thanked Trinity Church of Scotland for hosting its meetings.

"For the last 25 years Rothesay Trinity Church has treated us with generosity, consideration and most importantly to us, discretion. They have made certain that we recovering alcoholics are able to meet in a safe, central and comfortable environment." (print p16)

The Deeside Piper reports that a court date has been set in the Bailey Gwynne case, mentioning that hundreds attended a service in Cults Parish Church to mourn the boy who died after being stabbed in school. (print p2)

The Dunoon Observer welcomes a new minister with a photo and full page interview with Rev Dr Roderick Campbell, a former paratrooper who previously served in Sri Lanka.

"Rev Dr Roderick Campbell was inducted as Minister of West Lochfyneside at Cumlodden Parish Church, Furnace, on December 12…Our interview with the reverend revealed him to be a deeply thoughtful, widely read man." (print p20)

The Inverurie Advertiser reports on the new Insch Manse, specially designed to meet the needs of Church of Scotland minister Rev Dr Kay Gauld. (print p5)

The John O'Groat Journal reports that Thurso church member Myrtle Gillies has been invited to meet the Queen as a recipient of specially minted Maundy money at the Royal Maundy Service in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

"Mrs Gillies (77) has been a member of presbytery for over 20 years, was moderator once and clerk to presbytery for five-and-a-half years." (print p3)

The Stornoway Gazette reports on the appointment of Ms Mary Mcleod as Solicitor to the Church and Law Agent for the General Assembly. (print p11)

The Milngavie and Bearsden Herald has reported on Rev David McNeish, who recently talked about switching careers from doctor to minister. (print p8)

The Orcadian also reports the story. (print p6)

The North Star (print p9) and the Ross-shire Journal (print p6) reported on the ordination of a husband and wife team.

"Susan Cord and James Bissett, from Cowdenbeath in Fife, were welcomed into the Presbytery of Ross during a service at Knockbain Church in Munlochy on Saturday. Ms Cord will lead the linked charge of Killearnan and Knockbain churches, while Mr Bissett will become an Ordained Local Minister who works part-time for the presbytery while continuing to study at the Highland Theological College in Dingwall."

Thursday 11 February, 2016

The Scotsman has published a commentary by CrossReach's Calum Murray on the importance of removing the stigma from mental health care.

"For too many years mental health has carried a stigma which has made people feel like they need to hide what they are going through from colleagues, family – and even from themselves. This is destructive for many reasons, but perhaps most significantly because it prevents people from seeking the support that would help them to recover.

"This stigma is now being challenged. People from all walks of life are telling their stories of experiencing mental health problems, and of recovering from them. I was inspired to read Rev David McNeish, a Church of Scotland minister in Orkney, discussing his own experiences of mental health in this newspaper a few weeks ago."

The Daily Record reports that the funeral of Fife pensioner and Leven Parish Church member Mary Logie, who was found dead after a brutal attack, will be held on Friday Feb 19.

"The funeral of Mary Logie will take place at her local Leven Parish Church where she attended services every Sunday. The 82-year-old will then be buried at East Wemyss Cemetery less than five miles from her flat where she was found dead on January 5.

The Courier also reports on Mrs Logie's funeral. (print p6)

The Church of England newspaper reports that this month's General Synod will discuss a report calling for the Church to reach out to black and ethnic minority Christians, saying they are underserved. The story also discusses the synod's forthcoming discussion of the Columba Declaration, the proposed first formal agreement between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England. Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison has been invited to speak at the Synod. (print p3)

The Dumfries and Galloway Standard reports that Mouswald Kirk, a former church may be converted into a home. The building was last used for worship eight years ago and has been deconsecrated. (print p5)

Finance Moves magazine reports on the appointment of Mrs Anne Macintosh as General Treasurer to the Church. (print p8)

Legal Moves magazine reports on the appointment of Ms Mary Mcleod as Solicitor to the Church and Law Agent of the General Assembly. (print p13)

The Scotsman lists the wealthiest charities in Scotland noting that the University of Edinburgh is number one on the list with an income of £819 million. The story also places the Church at number 11 on the list with, "an income of just under £110 million—slightly less than its expenditure of £111.6m." The listing includes income that comes to CrossReach to fund the Kirk's social care work.

Ekklesia reports on the Church's comment supporting the government's action plan on Female Genital Mutilation.

"Iain Whyte, Secretary of the Church of Scotland Guild, said it was vital to recognise that the human rights crime was a "problem in the UK" as well as other countries and must be addressed.

"Children's charity Unicef has published research that shows at least 200 million girls and women alive today in countries such as Indonesia, Egypt, Ethiopia and Somalia have undergone ritual cutting." http://bit.ly/23YEnkD

The Irvine Times reports on the refurbishment of Fullarton Church.

"WORSHIPPERS will return to Irvine's Fullarton Church at the end of this month after an extensive year-long £1.2 million refurbishment.

"Services will resume at the 178-year-old church on Sunday, February 28, at 10.30am and 6.30pm after a year which has seen the congregation attend services at St Andrew's Church and other venues across the town." http://bit.ly/1PP8Z1W

The Press and Journal report on community efforts to support a family in Burghead, Moray, where the father is terminally ill. Efforts to raise money for the family include a coffee morning at Burghead Church. http://bit.ly/1Kdkjo7

BBC2's Scotland 2016 responds to former Moderator the Right Reverend Andrew McLellan who headed a recent review into child abuse in the Scottish Catholic Church. He has called on the government to broaden the scope of the current inquiry into abuse of children in care or the "pain and humiliation of survivors will be repeated". The inquiry currently looks at child abuse of young people in care, but not at the abuse of children outside care settings. Angela Constance MSP says she consulted religious institutions including the Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland when deciding the scope of the inquiry. (story is first item in programme)

BBC Radio Scotland's Kaye Adams show reports on a Christian Aid initiative to persuade Christians to switch to renewable energy sources. The story notes that the Church of Scotland and Christian Aid campaigned for action on climate change together in 2009. The Church of Scotland has asked people to review and reduce their energy use where possible, but is not part of this current Christian Aid camapign. (2:51:23)

Wednesday 10 February, 2016

In partnership with Christian Aid we will be offering specially created Lent reflections starting today. Our multimedia journey starts with a video reflection, and will continue throughout Lent with daily prayers, meditations and images inspired by the journeys of the ancient saints.

Very Rev John Christie gave the Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland on 9 Feb. (01:23:52) Listen here as he discusses prisons and Jesus' compassion for prisoners.

The Herald publishes an obituary for Archie MacLullich, former depute director for social work for the Church of Scotland Board of Social Responsibility. (print p23)

The Press and Journal reports on the Moderator's visit to Inverbervie's Voyage of Life garden, saying:

"Brighter Bervie, the team behind the garden, which featured on the Beechgrove Garden TV series last year, hailed the visit a success.." (print p4)

The Courier also covered the story. (print p4)

The Tayside and Fife Courier also reported on the Moderator's visit to the Voyage of Life garden, and included a photo.

The Aberdeen Evening Express devoted a brief to the Moderator's visit to Aberdeen and his engagements, including preaching at Holburn West Church last Friday. (print p12)

The Courier covered the Kirkin' of the Guildry at the Dundee Parish Church, St Mary's. Rev Keith Hall conducted the service. (print p5)

The Evening Express reports that vandals have smashed windows of a Mastrick Parish Church bus used to transport elderly people in Mastrick and its surrounding areas. (print p2)

The Paisley Daily Express reports on the possible closure of St James Church.

"The final decision on the future of one of Paisley's most historic churches is due to be taken within weeks. As revealed in the Paisley Daily Express, it is understood that the architecturally-stunning and historic St James' Church, in Underwood Road, will shut its doors at the beginning of June." (print p4)

The story of White Light, the Christian rock band who saw their 1974 album declared a collector's item and rereleased on the Guerrsen label, continues to be reported on local newspapers around the country. Here it is in the:

Arbroath News.

Stornoway Gazette.

The Press and Journal reports on efforts to support the family of a father fighting the lung disease sarcoidosis. The story reports that Burghead Church of Scotland is staging a coffee morning to raise funds for the family.

"Burghead man Keith Douglas has been astounded by the support he and his family have received from villagers since becoming the beneficiaries of a £4,000 fundraising campaign last year. Mr Douglas was given just a year to live in May 2014, and his family says he is getting by "on borrowed time" (print p8)

Monday 8 February, 2016

The reissue of a Christian hard rock album from 1974, after the original was declared ultra-rare and highly collectable, grabbed headlines across the media. Retired minister, Doug McRoberts, who helped create the Out of Africa Into Malta refugee project was the lead guitarist in White Light before the band went their separate ways. On Friday he and his fellow band members reunited in Pollokshields Parish church, where his brother bass player Dave McRoberts is an elder. The band had no amplifier but managed to play a couple of songs anyway.

The story appeared on television Friday 5 Feb and in print media Saturday 6 Feb.

The BBC's Reporting Scotland broadcast the story at the end of the 6 pm news 5 Feb. 2016.

BBC Online report that, 'Scottish rock album Parable re-released after 40 years'

The Daily Express reported that, 'Scots Christian rockers back in demand – 40 years on'

The Scotsman and Evening News report that 'The Boys are back in town—rockers make a comeback'.

The Daily Mail wrote: Rockers of Ages 'extremely surprised'. p15 News

The Daily Record: 'Reverend Doug is a born again rock'n'roll star'. (print p18)

The Herald reports that, 'Ageing Scots rockers rediscovered after 40 years'.

The Daily Star reported, 'Parable of a Prodigal Rock band'. (print p9)

The Press and Journal report the story in the north edition. (print p7)

Premier Christian News writes, '70s Christian rock band gets another shot at the big time'.

The Scotsman's picture of the week shows Borthwick Castle and the nearby parish church.

The Falkirk Herald writes about the history of the village of Limerigg, noting that the Church of Scotland established a mission church there in 1880.

The Clydebank Post reports that, 'Fire damaged St Patrick's Church in Old Kilpatrick expected to re-open in June'.

A column by Rev Tom Cant in the Paisley Daily Express looks at the contributions of Mary Slessor and Peter Marshall. (print p16)

Local radio stations across England and Wales reported on a plea from four churches including the Church of Scotland, for governments to do more to support Syrian refugees.

The Courier reports that Dundee churches have come together to create work opportunities for local people through social enterprises. (print p8)

The Courier also reports that Pope Francis may visit St Andrews University later this year. (print p26)

The Scotsman also reports on the proposed visit by Pope Francis.

Life and Work reports that Dunfermline Abbey has been named one of the nine most influential buildings in Scotland.

Life and Work also reports that £400,000 seized during criminal investigations will be given to charities including the Boys and Girls Brigades.

"Justice Secretary Michael Matheson paid a visit to The Boys' Brigade headquarters at Carronvale House in Larbert last Friday to announce over £400,000 of additional funding for youth projects across Scotland.

"The money, which has been seized from criminals through the Proceeds of Crime Act and reinvested as part of the Cashback for Communities Programme, will be shared amongst organisations including the Scottish arms of the Boys' and Girls' Brigades, Scouts and Guides."

The Press and Journal report that the Moderator is visiting Aberdeen where he preached a sermon at Holburn West Church.

"During the service, he also presented over 30 long-service certificates to elders, Sunday school teachers, choir members and organists. Between them, they had dedicated around 1,000 years service to the church." (Print P10)