Church in the news

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

Monday 25 January, 2016

The Herald reported on Susan Cord and James Bissett a married couple from Cowdenbeath, Fife, who were ordained on the same at Knockbain Church in Munlochy near Inverness in the Presbytery of Ross. (Print p7)

The Scotsman carries an obituary for Gilbert Lawrie, chief executive of Dumbarton Football Club, as well as a member of Dumbarton Riverside Church member and a Boys Brigade officer.

The Paisley Daily Express reports that Kilbarchan Parish Church Bible class has raised £2,300 for the charity Mary's Meals. (print p5)

The Scotsmanquotes a minister who inspired a new novel by Mary Paulson-Ellis called The Other Mrs Walker.

"The book centres around an old lady found dead in a small Edinburgh flat, a glass of whisky spilt on the carpet, leaving behind only a few possessions, including a faded emerald dress in her wardrobe.

"In the tale, Margaret Penny, 47, a Scot whose professional working life and dysfunctional relationship with a married man in London have come to an abrupt end, accepts the job of discovering the elderly woman's identity…

"However, Mary Paulson-Ellis said a BBC Radio Scotland Ricky Ross programme about Church of Scotland minister, the Rev Alex McAspurren of North Leith Parish Church, conducting "indigent funerals" and asking for volunteers from his congregation to go along to them had been the basis for Penny attending the deceased old lady's funeral."

Rev Tom Cant writes a column in the Aberdeen Evening Express looking at Thomas Chalmers and kindness. Print p16)

A Scotsman leader 'Time to reflect on role of assembly' looks at the role of religious observance inschools.

"The introduction of gay marriage two years ago was a victory for equality campaigners over the more conservative, largely religious lobby. But it would be a mistake to think this undermines the role and influence of the church in Scottish public life and importance of faith to hundreds of thousands of Scots. The Church of Scotland alone has a remarkable 400,000 members from a Scots population of about five million. More than half of people still identify themselves as religious, mainly Christian, according to the latest census.

"The need for change to the religious observance slot is not immediately obvious. Although this is enshrined in statute, schools can already call it "Time for Reflection" and it does not have to take the form of worship. But reports from the Arts and Humanities Research Council on Collective Worship and Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life suggest that it could be time to have another look at the issue."

Friday 22 January, 2016

Print and broadcast news channels have reported on the arrest of a neighbour in the tragic murder of Leven Church member Mary Logie, including a tribute from her minister Rev Gilbert Nesbit.

"Mary was friendly and outgoing, a kind lady who was bright and interesting to talk to. People are absolutely stunned."

Here's the story in The Scotsman.

Here's the story on the Church website.

Ekklesiareports that next May the General Assembly will debate calling ministers in same-sex marriages

On our social media we have posted the following event:

Attend a cabaret and you can help raise funds for a new team of multi-faith Chaplains for Edinburgh's Sheriff Court. The project, organised by an interfaith group of churches and multicultural groups aims to offer an independent, confidential listening and support service to court users of all faiths and none, staffed by volunteers.

Multicultural Cabaret: 7-9 pm, Saturday 6 Feb. 2016 at the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church. Tickets priced £10 (£5 for concessions) are available at or by contacting the Church Office.

Thursday 21 January, 2016

Numerous press outlets report that the spectacular poppies installation first shown at the Tower of London in 2014 is going to St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney this April.

The story is reported by BBC online:

"The 'Poppies: Weeping Window' installation will come to St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall from 22 April to 12 June to remember 100 years since the Battle of Jutland.

More than 6,000 British personnel and 2,500 Germans died in the battle in the North Sea in 1916.

The sculpture was created by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper.

It was originally installed at the Tower of London in 2014,where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one to honour every death in the British and colonial forces between 1914 and 1918.

Orkney, which will be the first place in Scotland to display the poppies, is to be the focus for the Battle of Jutland commemorations."

Other publications carrying the story include:

The Orcadian.

STV Online.

Here's our own story.

The Expressreports that a 40-year-old woman has been arrested in the murder of church member Mary Logie. The story quotes the minister'stribute to Mrs Logie.

"Rev Gilbert Nisbet of Leven Parish Church said: "I have been the minister here for nine years and she came virtually every Sundayand I would chat to her at the door."

The Wishaw Pressreports on a trial service to improve services for deaf and hard of hearing church members at Dalziel St Andrew's Parish Church on Sunday.

"The trial proved very encouraging and plans are now being developed for a pilot phase, starting in the spring, to attempt to make this apermanent feature in the worship."(Print p28)

In The Times,nationalist blogger Andrew Tickell slams organised religion pointing to the anti-abortion group, Don't Stop a Human Heart.

"They believe that Christian witness requires ugly homilies on why rape victims must carry their children to term, however odious and harrowing their conception. They believe that women's self-determination, and their choices, ought to be abridged by a censorious moral minority.

"Last December, the prime minister declared that this was a"Christian country". If that was ever true, it is certainly not true now."(print p27)

Wednesday 20 January, 2016

The Heraldreports that a businessman has donated £600,000 to Bothwell Church.

"A PHILANTHROPIST and businessman has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to a fundraising bid to save one of Scotland's most historically significant churches. Les Hutchison, who made his fortune in engineering, is a member of Bothwell Parish Church and he and his wife Virginia have handed over £600,000 to a £2 million project to preserve its 600-year-old quire."

The Evening Times also reports on the story. (Print p11)

The Scotsman reports on the 9,600 divorces recorded in 2013-14 noting that 29 percent were couples who married in the Church of Scotland. More than half were couples who married in civil ceremonies. Divorce numbers have declined from 13,700 in 2006. (Print p15)

The Stranraer and Wigtownshire Free Press report that Sainsbury's supermarket and its customers have donated food to Penninghame Parish Church Food Bank after flooding wiped out its supplies. (Print p7)

The Courierreports that redevelopment plans for a former Church of Scotland building, Kinfauns Church, have been revived. Past opposition to development centred around fears that development would disturb the nearby cemetery.