Church in the news

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

Tuesday 24 November, 2015

The challenge posed to humanity by climate change is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – issues of our times. The evidence seems compelling that the world's climate is changing rapidly, that this is a direct result of human activity, and that unless checked, the consequences are potentially catastrophic.

This will be particularly so for the world's poorest people who, ironically, have least contributed to the problem and are least able to deal with it. Scotland's Climate Change March will be held Saturday 28, November and this week during the run up we will be posting stories on climate change to our website and social media.

The Scotsman has published an article about the security lockdown in Brussels due to fears a terrorist attack could be launched by Islamic extremists. The article features some quotes from the Rev Dr Andrew Gardner of St Andrew's Church of Scotland who was advised to cancel services on Sunday. Read The Scotsman's story about Brussels here.

A more lengthy piece featuring Mr Gardner has been posted on the Church's website and social media.

The Scotsman has published a quirky article about an unusual tradition in the north-east village of St Cyrus. It reads:

" It was the sight of a couple in the snow on their wedding day that led a civil servant to establish one of Scotland's quirkiest wedding day traditions. John Orr, the accountant general of Madras, is said to have been so moved by the newlyweds struggling in cold conditions in his home village of St Cyrus, Aberdeenshire, that he offered them some money.

Shortly afterward, Mr Orr, from a wealthy local family, is said to have changed his will in a move that would keep weddings in St Cyrus unique. After his death in 1845, the annual interest from £1,000 was to be split between four brides - the tallest, the shortage, the youngest and the oldest with the same measuring stick used to find the worthy "Dowry Bride of St Cyrus"

A fifth of the interest was to be distributed amongst the poor of the village. A ledger in the church shows a list of the lucky newlyweds, which have been recorded in John Gavin's The Dowry Brides of St Cyrus. Read The Scotsman's story about measuring brides here.

The Press and Journal has published an opinion piece about the management of the Church of Scotland and Church of England by regular columnist Ron Ferguson. (print only)

Monday 23 November, 2015

The Courier reports that the Moderator preached at the 150th anniversary celebration of Hope Park and Martyrs Church in St Andrews. (Print p8)

Also in The Courier a photo of Guild members accompanies a report on Forfar East and Old Church's Guild week service, which focused on the theme Be Bold, Be Strong, along with a message of peace that included the Moderator's Prayer for Paris. (Print P8)

The Linlithgow Gazette reports that Rev Albert Bogle is stepping down from his post as minister at St Andrew's Parish Church.

"It really will be the end of an era for both the church and its popular, colourful minister who came to Bo'ness shortly after completing his training and who has spent his entire ministry in the town." Read Bo'ness flock seeks new shepherd.

A letter to The Scotsman criticises the Catholic Church for historic child sex abuse. Apparently unaware of the Church of Scotland's safeguarding policies the writer concludes by saying, "Let us hope that the Church of Scotland and other Christian sects waste no time in setting up their own independent (safeguarding) bodies." (Print p24)

The Evening News reports that Scotland's Catholic Bishops have agreed on an action plan following the independent review released in August of how the Church handled abuse allegations. The review carried out by a commission led by former Kirk Moderator the Very Rev Andrew McLellan, "called for the church to make an 'unmistakeable and unequivocal' apology and said support for survivors of abuse must be its 'absolute priority.'" (print p6)

The National's story "Black Friday does not reflect the true spirit of Christmas" looks at the Church's newly released Advent Calendar, quoting Rt Rev Angus Morrison saying:

"It's great to see the Church reaching out to the wider public who feel the festive spirit is being lost to rampant commercialism. When even the large retailers are using their Christmas adverts to highlight social isolation, and shoppers are fighting in stores over cheap TVs on Black Friday, it's easy to see why people feel something is missing." (print p6)

The Advent Calendar has already attracted more than 1,000 registrations.

News media and social channels are discussing the ban on religious advertising in cinema after a Christmas message from the Church of England featuring the Lord's Prayer was rejected.

The Evening Times story quotes spokespeople from the Church of England and the Free Kirk. Read the Evening Times story.

It's Climate Action week and we will be posting a story to the website every day leading up to the Climate March on Saturday. Today: Everything you need to know about Scotland's Climate March.

Friday 20 November, 2015

The Press and Journal has published a page lead about The Shed at Martins Memorial Church in Stornoway which was recently named Best Church Building Project in the Christian Forum Funders Awards.

Murdo MacIver, The Shed's programme manager, is quoted as saying "We are thankful for the nomination by The Joseph Rank Trust for best church building project in the annual Christian Funded Forum Awards and to the other 15 members of the forum for hosting such a great event."Being the Gold winner in our category was fantastic, humbling and great encouragement for us all in Martins Memorial Church that our work at The Shed has been recognised. What started as a vision many years ago is now a working building serving the Stornoway community. It is truly amazing that The Shed is now getting recognition nationally.

David Robertson, Secretary and Clerk to the General Trustees, commended both congregations for their work in bringing the projects to life. He said: "The General Trustees are proud and delighted, but not entirely surprised, that both The Shed and Castlemilk Parish Church have won these national awards. The Shed is an example of a building transformed from a derelict husk into a vibrant community resource and a place where faith can flourish.

The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland has published an article about Laura Dunlop QC who is receiving an honorary degree from the University of Stirling. She has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to the support of vulnerable people. Ms Dunlop has held office as Procurator to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland – the first female to hold this appointment – since 2005.

The Daily Mail has published an article about Mary Lee Milne, the widow of a Church of Scotland minister who became a hero of the First World War,

The Central Fife Timeshas published an article reflecting on the 125th anniversary of the Burgh of Cowdenbeath – a milestone Moderator of the General Assembly the Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison recently helped celebrate.

Church Action On Poverty has published a blog on a campaign aimed at tackling so-called funeral poverty. The Church of Scotland is a member of Funeral Poverty Alliance.

Thursday 19 November, 2015

In its story, Scotland's welcome for refugees 'will be positive,' The Evening Times reports that:

"Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, said: "The weather may be cold but I am sure the welcome will be warm."

"It is our huge privilege as a nation to offer deep hospitality to this first group of Syrian refugees."

See The Evening Times storyhere

The website Build Scotland publishes a story about the Church House a Glasgow Charity that has found a new home with £820,000 of support from Clyde Gateway and the Church of Scotland.

The Church House offers a community space, youth and family programs in the Bridgeton area of Glasgow. (Visit the Church House here.)

"A total of £820,000 has been granted to allow the Church House charity to move into a purpose-built new Family Support Centre in Bridgeton.

"Clyde Gateway is contributing £671,000, while the Church of Scotland is providing a further £150,000.

"The new building will be located on the site of the former janitor's home and dining hall at the former Queen Mary Street School which closed in 2009. It will include a multi-use space, a multimedia suite, training kitchen and counselling rooms." Visit Build Scotland's story here.

Foreign Affairs a global news company based in New Zealand reports that :

"The Queen has approved that The Right Honourable Sir James Arthur David Hope, Baron Hope of Craighead, KT, PC, be re-appointed as Her Majesty's Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2016.

"The Lord High Commissioner is the Sovereign's personal representative to the Annual General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He attends the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland on behalf of the Sovereign. He makes the opening and closing addresses to the Assembly, and carries out a number of official functions as the Lord High Commissioner. Visit 'Foreign Affairs' website.