Church in the news

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

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)

Thursday 13 August, 2015

BBC Good Morning Scotland has an interview with Jackie Walker, who's the manager of CrossReach's Post Natal Depression BlueBell service in Glasgow, talking about the need to improve access to counselling and support for those women and their families who are affected by PND. It's available at this link at 1.51.05 until Sept 12th.

The Lake Country Calendar references the Church of Scotland in an opinion piece about the challenges facing the United Church of Canada.

Moderator the Right Rev Angus Morrison reflects on fuel poverty and renewable energy opportunities in the Western Isles in his new monthly column in the Stornoway Gazette. (Print only)

The Edinburgh Evening News carries a story about more than 100 residents who are opposing plans to breathe new life into former Belgrave Halls in Corstorphine, which used to be owned by the Kirk, by revamping them into a four-storey home for the elderly.

Premier Christianity is reporting that prayers will be said for a local hobby fisherman who died in the Firth of Forth on Tuesday at West Wemyss and Buckhaven churches in Fife in Scotland on Sunday. Deacon Jacqueline Thomson, who is parish assistant at Buckhaven and Wemyss parish Church of Scotland, will reflect on the fate of Birrell Stewart, who died on hospital, and his friends Jason Buchan and David Stead who are still missing.

PR.Com is reporting that the Rev Dr John Philip Newell, an internationally recognized author, peace advocate and Celtic scholar, will be leading a weekend interfaith retreat at Mercy By The Sea Retreat and Conference Center in Madison, a town in Connecticut, USA at the end of October.

Wednesday 12 August, 2015

Many news outlets report comments from Jacqueline Thomson, deacon at Buckhaven and East Wemyss Parish Church, who expressed the sentiments of her congregation and community, extending condolences to the families of three men whose boat capsized while they were fishing off the coast of Fife.

Jacqueline Thomson, a Church of Scotland deacon in Buckhaven and Wemyss, said: "The community is deeply shocked and saddened by this fishing tragedy, which started off as something that many people in this part of the Fife Coast enjoy doing as a recreational pastime.

"On behalf of the Church we would wish to convey that our thoughts and prayers are with the families as they await news of their loved ones."

"This tragedy will be included in the public prayers at both West Wemyss and Buckhaven churches on Sunday," she added.

"As this situation progresses we shall endeavour to serve the people in this parish as best as we can as everyone comes in their sadness to recognise the tragedy of this situation."

STV Online:

The National:

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Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra:

The Courier, The Sun, The Herald and other print newspapers also carry the story.

Tuesday 11 August, 2015

BBC online reports that Buckhaven and Wemyss Deacon Jacqueline Thomson offers prayers and condolences to families and friends of the men in the Fife fishing tragedy. Birrell Stewart was fishing for mackerel with two others when their boat capsized. He was rescued but later died in hospital. Jason Buchan, 35, and David Stead, 47, both from East Wemyss, remain missing.

In an opinion column for the Scottish Daily Mail,"The real University challenge the SNP has failed to meet," Grant Graham talksabout the Church's contributions to education: "The Church of Scotland, helped by local landowners, established schools in all rural parishes and burghs by an Act of Parliament. An ambitious boy from a humble back-ground – the 'lad o' pairts' –could, using a bursary system, get a university education, something which remained beyond the grasp of most youngsters in England." (print)

The BBCs decision to film Songs of Praise from the migrant camp in Calais has drawn attacks and plaudits in the media and on social media channels.

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Christian Today: