Church in the news

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

Friday 18 December, 2015

The World Mission Council's Tabeetha school is the subject of a series of news reports on BBC Scotland by their reporter Fiona Walker, who visited the Church run school in Jaffa earlier this month. In the BBC News online article she writes "Amongst the conflict that defines the Middle East lies something of a surprise. It is described as "an oasis" in the midst of religious division. Tabeetha is the last remaining Church of Scotland school and, intriguingly, it's in Israel."

A TV report broadcast on the 'Scotland 2015' programme on BBC2 last night is now available online. A radio version can be heard on the BBC Radio Scotland Good Morning Scotland programme this morning at 1 hour 42 minutes into the broadcast.

Further TV news reports are likely to be shown on BBC Reporting Scotland bulletins on BBC1 today, and a 30 minute radio documentary will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 9.30am on Sunday morning. It's a good example of how BBC reporters create multiple content for TV, radio and online audiences when covering a story. Middle East Secretary Kenny Roger says "We are all so happy that Tabeetha is getting such good exposure."

Four Church of Scotland churches which have received major restoration grants worth more than £200,000 each from the Heritage Lottery fund and Historic Environment Scotland are featured in a BBC News Onlinestory.

You can read more in our own website story too, with quotes from the General Trustees and some of the churches receiving the funding. David Robertson from the General Trustees says "We are delighted that these Congregations have been awarded these significant grants, which are all close to the maximum amount available. It's a recognition of the quality of the applications, and the hard work done by congregations and their professional advisors in expressing the compelling nature of their need for support. This money will all be spent on essential repairs to the roofs and stonework of these much loved buildings."

The Scotsman reports foodbanks across the country are expected to be busier than ever this Christmas. It quotes Church and Society Secretary Martin Johnstone, speaking in his capacity as chair of the Scottish Government's independent Food Poverty Working Group, saying "This should shock and shame us all… In Scotland we do not have a food shortage. More must be done to address the root causes of poverty." Print only P26

Thursday 17 December, 2015

Scottish Housing Newsreported on the Church's call for the government to act on fuel poverty and climate change together making both issues top priorities

The Scotsman publishes an op-ed piece by Allan Logan, director of services to Older People at CrossReach, on the role of Dementia Ambassadors in ensuring people of all ages receive good services tailored to their individual needs

The Courier reports on the £1.45 million awarded to eight places of worship for essential repairs, in its story Perth Cathedral hits the Lottery Jackpot. (print p4) Read our own story here.

Shettleston New Church is one of the eight places of worship to benefit from the award. Elizabeth Eglinton, an elder with Shettleston New Church of Scotland, told Good Morning Scotland on BBC Radio Scotland that a leaky roof had allowed water to threaten damage to the Church's foundation. (00: 56:00)

The Stirling Observer reports on a nativity play at Braehead Primary School.

"Pupils from Braehead Primary School did two performances of The Little Angel at the North Parish Church.The nativity show told the story from the point of view of an angel who arrives in Bethlehem on the night Jesus is born, and discovers what makes that evening so special." (print p5)

Ekklesiacovers the Church of Scotland's climate change statement saying:

"The Church of Scotland has welcomed the international agreement to tackle climate change.

"The Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, convener of the Church and Society Council, hailed the outcome of the 12 December United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris which saw 195 nations approve a pact.

"The agreement sets a new international context for nations' use of fossil fuels and action on climate change, including limiting global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to limit the rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius."

Christian Todayreports on the painting of The Last Supper that portrays men from Glasgow City Mission.

The story also appears on:

Third Force News:

Scotland Now


Premier Christian News

Wednesday 16 December, 2015

The Heraldwrites about the appointment of Rev Dr Martin Scott as Secretary to the Council of Assembly.

Its story, 'Church of Scotland's new chief official is former professional musician and Motherwell fan,' says:

"The Church of Scotland has appointed a new lead official - effectively the chief executive - of one of the country's biggest charities.

"The Rev Dr Martin Scott will take over as secretary to the council of assembly when Pauline Weibye retires from the post at the General Assembly in May. "

The painting of The Last Supper that dominated yesterday's coverage of the Church, is reported in dozens of local papers across the country. The painting, by artist and former Mission and Discipleship Council worker Iain Campbell is part of a Go For It funded project and emerged from the close relationship between St George's Tron Church of Scotland and Glasgow City Mission.

Here is the story for example in,

The Aberdeen Evening Express

The Motherwell Times

The Kincardineshire Observer

On STV online

Listen to the story on BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive Tuesday 15 December (1:52:00)

The Nationaldiscusses the Scottish Reformation in a story about at James VI and his influence on the union.

The Kirkintilloch Herald reports that Springfield Cambridge Church of Scotland in Bishopbriggs has opened its arms to the local Muslim community after a firebomb attack destroyed the Al Farooq Cultural Centre on Auchinairn Road. The congregation offered the use of a room in the church so that the Muslim community could continue to hold Friday prayers. Read the Kirkintilloch Herald's story here.

The Scotsman publishes an obituary of former Moderator The Very Rev Dr Bill McDonald who has died 9 December at age 91.

"For more than 30 years the Very Rev Dr Bill McDonald was minister at one of Edinburgh's most renowned churches: Mayfield Parish. He brought a calm authority to his ministry and combined an excellent pulpit presence with his concern for his parishioners and the kirk at large." (print p34-35)

The Press and Journal reports on a CrossReach care home that has been recognised as one of the best in the country.

"Balmedie House has been recognised as one of the leading facilities of its kind after winning Care Home Service of the Year at the Scottish Care Awards 2015. The home was one of two winners at this year's ceremony, sharing the accolade with Creggan Bahn Court care home in Ayr.

"The awards have been running for 11 years as part of the Scottish Care National Care Home Conference and have been deemed a huge success in recognising individuals, teams and companies with entry numbers increasing year on year." (print p8)

The Guernsey Press and Star reports that "Faith groups keen to help form same-sex marriage law."

The story quotes Rev Graeme Beebe of the Chuch of Scotland saying it is important for faith groups to discuss the issue together.

" The minute we stop listening to each other the problems start and barriers go up, so it's important we all know where we are coming from." (print p2)

The Sun, a newspaper and website, based in Lagos discusses the role of Church of Scotland missionaries in Uburu in its article about Uburu women producing salt from water, using local technology.

If you haven't yet seen Life and Work's Christmas issue yet, don't miss:

A lovely story about the religious roots of the 12 Days of Christmas song

An important story about Loneliness at Christmas

And much more.

And here's what's coming up in January's Life and Work:

Tuesday 15 December, 2015

A partnership initiative between St George's Tron church and Glasgow City Mission has resulted in widespread media coverage today, including radio TV and online stories on the BBC, and TV and online on STV as well as many newspapers. Thanks to the visually striking new painting of The Last Supper by artist Iain Campbell (who until recently worked for the Church of Scotland's Mission and Discipleship Council), broadcasters and the Press Association attended a restricted press call at the church last week. The painting features men who are being helped by the City Mission, and at the press call some of those in the painting gave their reaction as they saw the work for the first time. The story is a great example of the imaginative work the Church is doing, with Iain's position as artist-in-residence made possible thanks to a grant from the Go For It fund.

Watch the BBC report and read the story at BBC online.

Watch the STV report and read the story at STV online.

The Herald printed a large photo with its story. (print p9)

Metro also prints the story with photo of the painting. (print p9)

The story also appears in:

The Scotsman. (print p3)

The Evening Times (print p11)

Read our own story to see how meeting Christians has changed life for one of the men in the painting.

The Daily Mail has published a story about a company of Royal Marines whose members were injured killed and left traumatised after fighting in Afghanistan. The men of J Company of 42 Commando, included JJ Chalmers son of Very Rev John Chalmers.

"Twelve comrades pose for a photograph. Their faces are set, their expressions determined. Within hours, they'll be dropped by helicopter into the heart of Taliban-controlled Helmand.

"The soldiers know it will be a dangerous operation, but they draw strength from their camaraderie and fighting expertise. They are Royal Marines: the best.

"But events would soon go against them. Catastrophically so. This band of brothers is doomed. Within four days, all the men you see in this picture would be a casualty of some kind: dead, maimed, injured or suffering, to various degrees of severity, from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

"Several Marines from Check Point Omar were selected to take part in the mission. One of them was a reservist, Lance Corporal JJ Chalmers. In civilian life, he was a design and technology teacher in a Scottish secondary school.

"Chalmers' father was a clergyman who would become the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Queen's chaplain north of the border. His mother also worked in the Kirk's head office." Read the Mail's story online here.

The Herald publishes an obituary of Very Rev Bill McDonald who passed away 9 December.

"Very Rev Dr. J G William McDonald who has died at the age of 91 was one of the most outstanding Church of Scotland ministers of his generation."(print p23) View the online story here. (paywall)

The Linlithgow Gazette covers the Moderator's visit to South Quensferry Boys Brigade, where he accepted a cheque supporting the work of the World Mission Council. (print p34)

"The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Dr Angus Morrison, visited Queensferry Parish Church and members of the 31st Edinburgh (South Queensferry) Boys' Brigade company to accept a cheque for £10,000 for the BB World Mission Fund."

The Queensferry Gazette covers the same story in its front page story, Boys' Brigade put best foot forward.' (print p1)

The Press and Journal reports that North-east Sensory Services is calling for a volunteer to join Rev Mary Whitaker in representing people with visual and/or hearing impairments in Moray.

"A north-east charity that offers support to blind and deaf people is appealing for a Moray representative to help lead the region's chapter.

"North-east Sensory Services (Ness) is based in Aberdeen but has a resource centre in Elgin, and with one of its two Moray members soon to depart it has launched moves to source a local replacement.

"The group says that finding someone from the area to represent its visually and hearing impaired residents is essential to maintaining a 'good balance'." Read The Press and Journal's story here.

The Daily Record covers the story of a Catholic priest and a Church of Scotland minister in Irvine who teamed up with local children to tell the true story of Christmas through a Men in Black parody video. Read the Record's story here.

Coming up: We're excited that BBC Breakfast News is due to feature the work the Church is doing through Tomorrow's Calling to promote the call to parish ministry with an item due to be broadcast on December 29th. The filming is to take place this Thursday and will include interviews with trainee minister Louise Purden and her father Rev John McPake, Rev Michael Mair, and three ministers in training from Edinburgh University's New College. Rob Flett will share a few photos from the filming on Twitter.