Church in the news

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

Monday 31 August, 2015

The Herald has reported that the Rev Jonathan Fleming of Erskine Parish Church has been recognised in the Scottish Parliament for his award winning community work –which would not be possible if it wasn't for the hard work of his congregation.Labour MSP Mary Fee lodged a motion at Holyrood, acknowledging the fact that Jonathan was named Citizen of the Year 2015, which was backed by 13 SNP and Labour parliamentarians.

The story was also published by the Evening Times in Glasgow (print only) while the video featuring Jonathan that accompanied the copy has been watched around 2,500 times online since it was uploaded on Friday.

The Paisley Daily Express has also published the article - Politicians have applauded Church of Scotland minister Jonathan Fleming for his "outstanding community work". (print only) The story has also been picked up various websites.

The Inverness Courieris carrying an article about Highland capital minister the Rev Peter Nimmo of Old High Church who is an expert at using Twitter to promote the work of the Church, tell jokes and reflect on politics. He has one of the most prolific Twitter accounts in Inverness and firmly believes the social media platform can help build bridges between religion and society. (print only)

ThePeebleshire News is carrying an article about Old Parish Church minister the Rev Barry Hughes who is running marathons to raise money for the local branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland.

The Courier is carrying a story about the Great Parish Bake Off in Perth – the brainchild ofBecky Erskine from Craigie and Moncreiffe Church of Scotland.

Christian website Ekklesia is carrying an article about a survey showing that 1.5 million Scots identify with the Church of Scotland.

Friday 28 August, 2015

The Jerusalem Post writes about Tabeetha school in Jaffa. "Today, the city is a melting pot of Jews, Christians and Muslims, living and working together in harmony. This is due, in part, to its education system, which goes back to the mid-19th century. At that time, a young Scotswoman, Jane Walker-Arnott, arrived as a volunteer at a Christian Mission in Jaffa and immediately became aware of the lack of educational opportunities for girls under Turkish rule. She wanted to give them more options in life and opened her home as a school for 14 female students… Since then, this school, supported by the Church of Scotland, has continued to provide education for youngsters of all faiths…"

The Christian news website Premier, reports on the Scottish Household Survey quoting Rev Colin Sinclair. Based on a sample of 9,800 people, the survey found that 47 percent of Scots say they have no faith, up from 40 percent in 2009. "Revd Colin Sinclair, Convener of our Mission and Discipleship Council at the Church of Scotland, told Premier's News Hour the numbers could be misleading. 'In some ways the figures aren't really surprising at all,' he said. 'They indicate a trend where people are less wanting publically to identify with an institution but that doesn't mean they're less interested in faiith. But he accepted that the drop in Church of Scotland affiliation had to be acted on: "That in some ways reflects a disenchantment with the Church and with religion but actually I think for us as a Church it makes us realise that mission doesn't start at the far end of the Mediterranean. 'It's actually on our own doorstep and it's a real wake up call for us both to pray and to think and to connect more effectively.'"

Thursday 27 August, 2015

The latest Scottish Household Survey indicates 27.8% of Scots feel a belonging to the Church of Scotland, equivalent to 1.5 million people. The number is down by 0.6% in the last year, showing a slowing in the rate of decline which has seen it drop from 35% in 2009. Meanwhile the number indicating they have no religion has increased from 40% to 47% over the same period. Rev Colin Sinclair gave his response on Premier Christian Radio with the Church's response in full here The media picked up on the story, headlining Scotland's rising secularism. Interestingly it merited only a few paragraphs in most outlets, indicating journalists fail to see this news as either  surprising or concerning. Mr Sinclair was the only person to be quoted, albeit briefly, in the Daily Mail and The Scotsman (print only). You can read the online report from STV here

CrossReach, who have had a busy media week, have an opinion piece in The Scotsman. CrossReach Chief Executive Officer, Peter Bailey, writes on how best to care for an ageing population, and proposes professionals and volunteers can work together to effectively meet the rising demand.

Third Force News has become the latest outlet to pick up on the Moderator's support for the Scottish Churches Anti-Human Trafficking Group's campaign. Their web story includes the short video we filmed (on our phone!) at the UN Gift Box event on George Street last week, which has now been liked, shared and retweeted around 200 times on social media. It currently has more than 1500 views on Facebook and 100 on You Tube. We think it's a great example of something simple which can effectively engage a wider audience.

Wednesday 26 August, 2015

CrossReach, the Social Care Council of the Church, featured in the BBC and STV's coverage of the record number of people in Scotland who died through drug use over the last year. CrossReach's Director of Adult Services Calum Murray, and Stella, who is a former drug user now volunteering at CrossReach's Rainbow House in Glasgow, both featured in last night's TV news programmes. Links to the stories are here for STV and BBC It was followed up with Crossreach being quoted in a range of today's papers including The Scotsman Times, The Sun, and The Daily Record among others.

Elsewhere, the Clydebank Post covers the fire at Old Kilpatrick chapel last week, which has seen the displaced congregation move to worship at the nearby Church of Scotland church. It records the hand of friendship offered by locum minister Rev John Harris, and the horror of Father William McGinley standing helpless as he watched the chapel engulfed in flames.