Church in the news

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

Wednesday 19 August, 2015

BBC News carries a fantastic video report on the work of deaf minister Reverend Mary Whittaker, who's the first and only minister to have a hearing dog for the deaf in Scotland. BBC Scotland's Ian Hamilton went to visit her, her dog Scott, and the Church's Deaf Development worker Rosie Addis in Aberdeen. The BBC's feature follows the attention Mary and Scott received at the General Assembly. Watch the video here

There is widespread coverage across the media of former Moderator, Rev Dr Andrew McLellan's Commission investigating the Catholic church in Scotland's response to allegations of abuse. Dr McLellan's commission made 8 recommendations which the Catholic church has fully accepted. Archbishop Philip Tartaglia gave a public apology to victims of abuse shortly after the report was released yesterday. The Daily Record has a summary here, The Scotsman's leader is here and the Scottish Catholic Observer's report is here

A sheriff has questioned the judgement of the Crown Office in prosecuting a female minister on a charge of sexual assault. After clearing the minister of any wrongdoing at Livingston sheriff court, sheriff Peter Hammond said: "In February 2014, 16 months after the incident, the complainer decided to report the matter to the police. In the meantime there'd been a falling out about another court case which divided people into camps and caused a lot of acrimony between them. It's hard to understand the decision making process by which it was found by the Crown to be in the public interest to pursue this case." The case shows the sometimes difficult circumstances ministers find themselves in through the course of their work in the community, and the court report is carried in a number of papers and news sites today including STV News

Tuesday 18 August, 2015

The National has carried a story featuring the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland who has called on the UK Government to show "love and compassion" by providing refuge for victims of the Calais migrant crisis fleeing persecution. The Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison said he was observing the response from the UK to the situation in France with "growing alarm and anger".

The Scotsman and Evening News also carried the story but in print form only. Evangelical Focus have run a piece on the same issue.

A Kirk minister has criticised NHS Highland's proposals to redesign hospital services on Skye – and claimed they will hurt the frail and vulnerable. The Rev John Murray, the parish minister of Kilmuir and Stenscholl, has called for an independent review of the decision to build a new hospital at Broadford, with a smaller facility in Portree.

The Glasgow Evening Times is carrying a story about plans to build a new £1.4million church building in Castlemilk, Glasgow. The new single-storey building on Dougrie Road will provide a home for two local congregations that have merged. The local minister the Rev Sarah Brown said the building would be located in the heart of the parish and accessible to all. (print only)

The Sun is carrying a feature about national treasures in wake of the tale about the chandelier at Bute House in Edinburgh, the official residence of Scotland's First Minister, which was alleged to have been stolen by the Nazis. It references the discovery of a hoard of Viking treasure described as the largest found in modern times on land owned by the Church of Scotland in Dumfries and Galloway last year.

The historically significant find was made by Derek McLennan and contains more than one hundred artefacts including possibly the largest silver Carolingian pot ever discovered, with its lid still in place. (print only)

Ekklesia is reporting a call for the Church of Scotland to partially divest from fossil fuels has been made by the National Youth Assembly.Partial divestment would involve looking carefully at any investments the church is making in oil and gas industries and deciding which of those investments are in line with the Church's ethical perspective on climate change.

Monday 17 August, 2015

The commemoration held at Edinburgh's Canongate Kirk on VJ Day has been covered, most prominently here on the BBC News website . The minister, the Reverend Neil Gardner, who is himself a former Army chaplain, is quoted saying between VE Day (Victory in Europe) and VJ Day (Victory over Japan) many of those fighting in the Far East felt forgotten and he hopes Saturday's service would help redress that balance.

The Sunday Times quotes Noel Mathias from the Church of Scotland's Priority Areas team in an article on micro finance, amid controversy over the Westminster government's appointment of 'bra tycoon' Michelle Mone to champion entrepreneurship. Print only

Christian Today picks up on the Church's joint statement on the Calais migrant crisis, which they are deeming 'a stinging attack'.

Friday 14 August, 2015

The website EC Plaza reports that Church of Scotland minister Rev Dr John Philip Newell will lead an interfaith weekend retreat in Madison, Connecticut on 30 October and 1 November 2015.

"His appearance is part of his 2015 United States tour and will offer presentations drawn from his most recent book, The Rebirthing of God: Christianity's Struggle for New Beginnings.

Newell is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland and is best-known as the former Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland, an international site for retreats and pilgrimages. Building on his extensive work in the field of interfaith relationships, he engages with a wide variety of beliefs, ideas and experiences to consider, "what is trying to be born that requires a radical reorientation of our vision."

"Western Christianity is experiencing change," recognizes Newell, "that can only be described as seismic." During the weekend, he will consider the contributions of international spiritual leaders, ecologists and nonviolent peace activists in helping to shape, "the new thing that is trying to emerge from deep within us."

The Courier reports on plans to redevelop Leslie House in Fife. The historic mansion was gifted to the Church of Scotland after WWII and was in use as an eventide home until 2003. Previous plans by Sundial Properties to redevelop the site as luxury flats fell through. Current plans would place 28 homes on the site. (print)