Church in the news

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

Thursday 4 February, 2016

After the Scottish government released a report on funeral poverty Rev Dr Richard Frazer, vice convener of the Church and Society council spoke to BBC Radio Scotland's John Beattie show. (12 minutes in) Listen to the story here.

The Herald's story, 'Mourners driven to crowdfunding funerals due to spiralling costs,' focused on comments by Church and Society Council convener Rev Sally Foster Fulton.

"A SENIOR Kirk official has said it is an "affront" to Scottish society that mourning families have been driven into debt by the cost of arranging the funeral for a loved one.

Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland spoke out after a report revealed that some people are resorting to desperate measures such as crowdfunding to help cover the cost of burials or cremations." (print p5)

The Scotsman's story, Ministers told to bring down cost of funerals in Scotland, also quoted the Church and Society council convener.

"The Revd Sally Foster-Fulton, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, said: 'The escalating cost of funerals is an attack on people when they are at their most vulnerable and felt, most acutely, by those who have the least in the first place.'" (print p11)

The Courier's story leads with the Kirk's reaction to the report, and quotes Mrs Foster-Fulton saying,

"The Church welcomes this report and hopes its contents and recommendations might act as a wake up call and real change. The obscenity of people being forced into crippling debt as they pay for the funeral of a loved one must be consigned to the history books." (print p22)

The Stirlingshire Observer prints a letter thanking St Ninian's Old Parish church for donating £600 to Cultenhove Opportunities to fund family events. (print p30)

Premier Christian news reports on a call from four churches including the Church of Scotland for more support for Syrians.

"Four churches have joined forces to urge world leaders to agree a new multi-billion pound deal to support the millions of Syrian refugees who have fled the fighting in their country's war. The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church say governments have not done enough so far.

"Rt Revd Dr Angus Morrison, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, who has recently returned from a visit to Egypt where he met with Syrian refugees, said: "To see close up the human catastrophe which is unfolding in Syria and the surrounding region, is harrowing, distressing and deeply humbling.

"We have to do more, meeting immediate need within Syria and the wider region whilst redoubling our efforts for a lasting and just peace."

Wednesday 3 February, 2016

A Thought for the Day post on our Facebook page has been shared 90 times and liked 431 times, more than any previous Thought for the Day. Created from prayer resources by Mission and Discipleship staff, the success of these short reflections and photo, shows how much church members value these daily prayers.

The Scotsman publishes an obituary for Rev Isobel Kelly, writing:

"She was one of little more than a handful of women ordained in the first few years following the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland's momentous decision in 1968 and she gave the best part of four decades to the ministry, contributing in ways that stretched far beyond the confines of the pulpit."

The Coleraine Chronicle reports that Rev Alan Knox, a retired Church of Scotland minister, was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours List. (Print page 2)

Living North publishes a feature on the Scottish Covenanters who died as prisoners in Durham after the 1650 Battle of Dunbar. (print p46)

The Church of England newspaper reported on the Columba Declaration, which if ratified will be the first formal agreement between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England allowing for closer joint work in the future. The draft declaration will be considered by the Church of England synod this month and by the General Assembly in May. (print p1)

The Church of England newspaper also reports that the United Reform Church has been invited to join the Churches' Mutual Credit Union. (print p3)

Reform magazine reports that the campaigning of millions of Christians helped secure the historic climate agreement in Paris last December.  More than 1.7 million people signed faith-based petitions urging leaders to take action. (print p5)

Reform also takes a look at the European Union and how Christians are thinking about the decision to stay or leave. The story references the Church of Scotland's long-held position that membership of the European Union is in Scotland's best interests.  (print p26)

An article in the Times Literary Supplement, 'Kirk and King', reviews The Rivals by Murdo Fraser. The book looks at the parallel careers of James Graham, the Marquess of Montrose and Archibald Campbell, Marquess of Argyll. (print p13)

Tuesday 2 February, 2016

The final story from the Moderator's visit to our partner church in Egypt has been posted to our own website. This story looks at gender violence in Egypt and how the Synod of the Nile's Council of Services and Development is helping women. Watch the video to see the impact of the work underway with women in Egypt.

Artist Ian Campbell has completed his painting of The Last Supper, where the people gathered around the table are homeless men from Glasgow City Mission. Ian worked on the painting in St George's Tron Church where members of the public could watch the progress and learn about the partnership between the Church and the mission. Watch the time-lapse video showing the painting come into being before your eyes. View the video on our Facebook page.

The Courier and Advertiser quotes Rev Bill Hunter of Howe of Fife Parish Church, who is helping his of a community coming together to support the family of 47-year-old Alastair Forbes killed last weekend in a road accident. (print p6)

The Scotsman publishes an obituary for Cameron Cochrane MBE, noting that:

"A deep, personal faith underpinned his life, providing, as it did, the basis for the quiet courage and determination he had. He was a kind man, self-deprecating about his own achievements, and genuinely concerned about others.

"Ordained an elder of the Church of Scotland in 1971, he held the post of Session Clerk. Whilst in Cairo, he had been Provost's Warden at All Saints Cathedral."

The Herald publishes an obituary for Gilbert Lawrie, Chief executive of Dumbarton FC and a member of Riverside Parish Church where he was a well-known and respected Boys Brigade Officer.

Monday 1 February, 2016

The landmark Columba Agreement, between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England that calls for closer cooperation between the churches has been widely reported across print and broadcast media.

BBC Radio Scotland featured an interview with Rev. Dr John McPake.(1:15:26)

BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Radio Sheffield also broadcast a story. (7:28)

BBC online

The Telegraph reports: "It will be debated by the Church of England's General Synod next month and at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May. The proposed partnership has led to a rare invitation to the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison, to address the General Synod." (print p15)

The story is also reported in:

The Times (print p16)

The Herald (P7)

The National (P6)

Arbroath Herald.

Fraserburgh Herald.

Motherwell Times.

Southern Reporter.

And many more.

The Courier reports on a talk By Rev John Orr at Kirriemuir Old Parish Church about the 20 Church of Scotland congregations across Europe. (print p5)

The Daily Record reports that the neighbour accused of killing Leven church member Mary Logie will face additional charges.

The Mail on Sunday reports on Reverend Jack Kellet's account of a weekend at Balmoral in 1981.

The Sunday Post published a story about toddlers learning to swim that featured Rev Julie Moody, minister at Milton of Campsie, whose baby Esther is enjoying her swimming class. (print p16-17)

BBC Radio Scotland'sSunday Morning discussed findings that for the first time the majority of white British adults say they have no religion.

The Stornoway Gazette reported that Ms Mary Mcleod has been appointed as the new Solicitor to the Church.

The Evening Times and The Herald report that Glasgow Central Mosque elders have been warned their financial practices could leave them open to charges of money laundering. The story quotes a Church of Scotland source on the issue:

"Mainstream religious organisations are understood to be relaxed about any proposals to make them subject to money-laundering regulations, including those designed to stop cash being legitimised.

"A Church of Scotland spokeswoman said: "We are not aware of any concerns relating to this legislation but would be happy to examine any detailed proposals brought forward."

The Courier reports on a visit from the Moderator to the East and Old Parish Church in Forfar for the church's 225th anniversary celebration. (print p7)