Church in the news

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

Tuesday 27 October, 2015

The Courier has published a picture story about a donation to a foodbank in Fife. Moderator the Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison visited Benarty Foodbank in Crosshill yesterday and presented it with a £1,200 cheque on behalf of Dunfermline Presbytery.(print only)

The Press and Journal has published an article about a fire that ripped through a health centre in the Highlands. Staff at the Fort Augustus surgery moved into a the local Church of Scotland manse where they spoke to patients.

The Highland News has published the same story. Moray Firth Radio also picked it up.

The Jersey Evening Post has published an opinion piece written by the Rev David Logan on the refugee crisis in Europe. (print only)

Third Force News has published an opinion piece by the Rev Dr Martin Johnstone, secretary of the Church and Society Council, who reflects on the Srebrenica massacre. (print only)

Third Force News has published a short article about a new alliance of charity organisations including the Church which is calling for improvements to housing stock by 2015. (print only)

The Central Fife Times has published an article about a street pastors scheme which has been going for a year. The CLoCK Street Pastors birthday celebration took place in St Serfs Church of Scotland in Lochgelly. The celebration was attended by a wide variety of members of the community who recognised the value of the Street Pastors in terms of the support it has given to Lochgelly, Cowdenbeath and Kelty.

The Clydebank Post has published an article about a former Clydebank FC and Scotland international team doctor who has been inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame. Professor Stewart Hillis, who died last year, was a lifelong member and supporter of the Church of Scotland, serving as an elder at Abbotsford Church, which became linked with Dalmuir Barclay Church.

The Daily Mail has published an article about Glasgow SNP MSP John Mason who is under pressure to apologise after appearing to suggest that most Scots 'hate the English'. Minister the Rev Alistair May got involved in the Twitter debate around the issue. (print only)

Monday 26 October, 2015

We are pleased to see increasing numbers of people taking an active interest in our Twitter account @churchscotland. It really went into overdrive this weekend, with more people engaging with a greater number of topics by liking, sharing and posting relevant content reflecting what different aspects of the Church, it's members and congregations are getting up to. If you haven't already looked at Twitter, it really is worth dipping your toe into. We are now just 4 people off 5,500 followers!

The honourary degree received by Dr Alison Elliot, the first woman to become Moderator of the General Assembly, from the Open University has attracted widespread media coverage over the weekend.  Joining her at the graduation ceremony were the actor Alan Cumming, scientist and weather forecaster Dr Heather Reid and Karyn McCluskey, director of the world-renowned Scottish Violence Reduction Unit.

The Herald says the Open University is known for it's accessibility, inclusivity and encouragement of students who may not otherwise be able to fulfil their dreams of gaining a university degree. The paper writes the three women they have chosen to name as honorary graduates are a perfect fit - having achieved the often unachievable in male-dominated industries. Alison Elliot, OBE… said when she was made the first female Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, it represented the long fight by many other women to ensure females reached the top tiers of power within the Church.

"I think it was a time when the Church was ready for a woman Moderator, I happened to have the background that fitted it. I wasn't conscious of fighting myself, but I know many people have fought for the cause of women being ordained in the Church and being in this role of Moderator. I was fortunate that the Church was ready for that move when I became Moderator and I was welcomed all over the place."

Dr Elliot's honour is also covered in the Daily Record Scottish Sunday Express (print P12), as well as BBC news and a wide range of regional and local newspapers.

The start of the Moderator's visit to Dunfermline Presbytery is featured in The Courier (print P4) The ever smiling Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison is pictured 'sharing a laugh' in the town centre during a public walkabout at the start of his 10 day visit. You can find many images on our social media feeds on Twitter and Facebook. We will also be highlighting some of the key events on the website as the visit continues.

The singer and broadcaster Ricky Ross's support for the Church of Scotland's 'Speak Out - 10,000 Voices for Change' initiative is highlighted in the Sunday Post. Featuring Ricky's new musical project 'The Choir', the paper says he is also passionate about social justice and believes Scotland can do more to welcome refugees. (Print P12) Find out more about 'Speak out'

Christian Today has featured the campaign against benefit sanctions which the Church has been taking part in. "Churches accuses DWP of using 'hunger as a weapon'" .

Friday 23 October, 2015

The Kincardineshire Observer reports on a fundraising campaign to build a garden for people with dementia in a Church of Scotland care home run by CrossReach.

"Clashfarquhar House, Church of Scotland Home is holding a 'Drop in Café' on Saturday, October 24 between 2 and 4 pm. The event is the first in a series of fundraising activities to enable the home to build a dementia garden within its grounds. The garden will be for the use of the residents and those who use the day care facilities at Clashfarquhar." Read the full story.

The Herald published a story 23 Oct. about the Church's search for a new Secretary to the Council of Assembly. The chief executive's job will become vacant next may with the retiral of Pauline Weiybe. The article gives a detailed description of the Church and the job, calling for applicants with a high level of personal and professional integrity combined with senior level experience and "the ability to work confidently and swiftly" across a wide range of competing priorities. (print p24)

The Press and Journal's Your Job section profiles Fiona Lister of Loaves and Fishes café.

"Although we are a part of the Church of Scotland, we are self-sufficient financially and any profits we have at the end of the year can be applied for through the Loaves and Fishes Fund with the criteria of service at home or abroad," Karran told the Press and Journal.

"In the past, we have been able to support schoolchildren carrying out service in Costa Rica as part of a school trip; we have supplied a wheelchair to Inverurie Hospital, and we are also able to pay regular sponsorship through Little Drops to help support a young boy with his living costs, allowing him to attend school."

Karran goes on to discuss mindfulness, which she practices daily. (print, Your Job pp14-15)

The Evening Times reports that the Church has criticised the UK Department of Work and Pensions for resisting calls to order a full review of benefit sanctions as recommended in a recent report. (print p2)

Third Force news also covers the issue in its story, 'Tory concession on sanctions doesn't go far enough'.

Rochdale Online also covers the Church's call for a full benefit sanctions review in its story, 'DWP 'stubbornly ignoring' calls for sanctionsreview'.

"The Baptist Union, Church in Wales, Church of Scotland, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church and charity Church Action on Poverty have called for an immediate suspension of sanctions against families with children and people with mental ill-health. They say the DWP's response does not go far enough and have called again for a review.
"In refusing to undertake a full review, the DWP is stubbornly ignoring the calls of parliament, expert advisers, Churches and charities. Most importantly, it is condemning people, many of whom have also spoken out eloquently against the inhumanity of the current practice, to unjust and pointless punishment," said Paul Morrison, Public Issues Policy Adviser for the Methodist Church."

Thursday 22 October, 2015

BBC Radio Scotland interviewed Ewan Aitken, former Secretary of the Church and Society council and current chief executive of The Cyrenians. Mr Aitken spoke about a report commissioned for the homelessness charity about attitudes to poverty. The report found a quarter of Scots view poverty as a result of laziness. He said:

"The cause of poverty is not about people's laziness. It's about not getting access to jobs, having opportunities taken away from them or never offered in the first place, or things happen to you in life that means you don't have the ability to take those opportunities. And that's why we need to journey with folk and speak out that everyone has a past, a present and a future, tell that story so we can change that culture." (starts at 3:13)

The Courier reports that Perth's Remembrance Day observance will include a service at St Johns Kirk on Nov. 8 as well as a short service at the 51st Highland memorial at North Inch on Nov. 11. (print)

The Buteman reports that new research published in Canada last week has highlighted the contributions of William Leitch to the development of rocket science and space flight. Born in Rothesay, Mr Leitch was an astronomer and Presbyterian minister who served congregations in Arbroath, Dunoon and Cupar. His scientific contributions, which came 40 years before the recognised pioneers of space flight, explained how rockets could power space craft. His book, God's Glory in the Heavens, was published in 1892. (print)

The Glenrothes Gazette reports that the Heart & Soul Swing band will play in Abbotshall Church on Sunday Oct. 31. The event is free but donations for the Church of Scotland's HIV program will be gratefully accepted. (print)

The Northern Scot reports that Rev Alison Mehigan will be leaving her ministry at Bellie and Speymouth after 12 years. Mrs Mehigan will be moving to the parish of Nairn Old.

"As chaplain of The Scouts in Moray, she introduced a popular Christingle Service which now takes place every year. And early doubts over the popularity of her 7am Sunrise Services were quickly quashed, with the churchyard at Speymouth packed for the early-morning worship." (print, p14)

The Northern Scot also records tributes to Rev James Thomson who died in Elgin September 21. The story says,

"Known for his boundless energy, his passion for people and for going the extra mile to help any-one in need. Even into his 80s, he would be seen cycling around town and to outlying communities such as Miltonduff to pay house visits and to enjoy the countryside.

"Among those paying tribute was Rev Stuart Duff who said Mr Thomson was someone who loved people and who gained great respect in return. 'He was greatly loved and appreciated by people and he had a great passion for people and a love for God,' Mr Duff said." (print, p19)

The Northern Times publishes Food for Thought by Susan Brown who tells about her visit to St Andrew's church in Brussels, where representatives from churches across Europe held a meeting. (print)

The Stornoway Gazette publishes a column by Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison, written on the eve of the National Mod.

"We can all contribute something in the effort to support and promote the Gaelic language and culture, as a rich part of our national heritage." Dr Morrison says. (print,p33)