Church in the news

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

Tuesday 4 August, 2015

The Paisley Daily Express reports that a group of volunteers have published a history of Bishopton Parish Church in Renfrewshire, as part of celebrations marking 200 years of worship in the current church building.

"A Renfrewshire Parish – A New History of Bishopton Church also reveals that the records of Paisley Abbey show the presence of a church on or near the present site as long ago as the 13th century." (print)

The Press and Journal reports that villagers from Johnshaven in Aberdeenshire have failed to raise £75,000 to buy Johnshaven Church. The Johnshaven congregation merged with St Cyrus congregation to form the Mearns Coastal Parish 16 years ago. The building needs a new roof and renovation.

The story quotes Mearns Parish Church minister, Rev. Colin Dempster saying, "Alas, after a valiant attempt at saving the church, there was no viable way to come up with a firm offer to buy the building. He added that services would be retained at Johnshaven Church on the last Sunday of each month for the time being, with transport laid on to St Cyrus Church on all other Sundays." (print)

Also in the Press and Journal, community minister Ron Ferguson writes a column saying:"…compassion is a huge virtue. It makes the world turn. It takes many forms. Simple acts of human kindness can transform lives. As a minister, I have seen it at close hand, and it is wonderful to behold. In a world in which narcissism and rage seem to be everywhere, non-judgmental compassionate empathy shines like a beacon." (print)

The Owen Sound Sun Times in Leith, Canada, reports on celebrations for a 150-year-old church founded by Church of Scotland pioneers.

"About 100 people celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Leith Church with a worship service inside the handsomely restored church, then ate lunch outside under an oak tree Sunday… Afterward, a memorial plaque was unveiled in honour of Adam Ainslie, who moved to Leith in 1858 from Galt. The Leith Church, formerly Auld Kirk or a Presbyterian church of the Church of Scotland, was built on land Ainslie donated for that purpose."

Monday 3 August, 2015

The Evening Times reports that Glasgow graduate students have made a documentary film about the Reformation leader John Knox.

"The graduates shot the film along with students from Edinburgh and the premiere screening is now set for August 4 in John Knox House on Edinburgh's Royal Mile."

The Inverness Courier quotes Rev Jan Mathieson, minister for Cawdor linked with Croy and Dalcross, who is helping gather signatures in support of a new bridge in the area.

"The council is not hearing the voices of the community who want to ensure that a new bridge is put in place as soon as possible. All we are hearing is about the process and difficulties and funding priorities. The feeling here from people is that they are being abandoned. I hope that is not the case but that is the feeling of the local community. Certainly we need a new bridge — how long will the council go on consulting before the message will get through?

"It is not a question of if a bridge is needed, it is how soon and when the council can put a bridge in place.

The Courier reports on a ceremony of rededication held at Abbotshall Church in Kirkcaldy.

"A touching service of rededication has been performed in Kirkcaldy's Abbotshall Church, where work had progressed throughout the year to remove and then re-inter bodies from their ancient resting places as urgent repairs were carried out.

Now the work has been completed, Abbotshall Church minister, the Rev Rosemary Frew, has led a service attended by many of those who worked on the delicate job to repair a bulging boundary wall.

Bodies had to be exhumed from their graves, and memorials removed, when it was feared the wall at the church was at risk of collapsing onto the adjoining pavement."

The Scotsman reports that some residents of Dunfermline want Historic Scotland to do more to highlight sites of interest at Dunfermline Abbey.

"Sheila Pitcairn, who has worked as a town tour guide in Dunfermline for around 30 years, said plaques should be erected to mark the spots where 25 members of Scots royalty – including King Malcolm III, who ruled from 1058 to 1093 and appears in William Shakespeare's Macbeth – are buried…She said: 'It's not fair that the people of Scotland do not know that all these royals are lying under the floor in -Dunfermline, there in Dunfermline Abbey. The only marker is for Robert the Bruce, but we need brass plaques for all of them.'"

Sunday 2 August, 2015

The Stornoway Gazette reports Tarbert Church of Scotland was packed to capacity on Friday, 3rd July for the induction of the Rev Ian Murdo MacDonald, and many friends had travelled from near and far for this very special and joyful occasion which was blessed with glorious summer weather. You can read the report with a picture of Ian Murdo and his family here. We wish him well in his new charge.

The Barrhead News reports on Bourock Church's 175th anniversary, which saw two of Barrhead's oldest residents attending, their presence described as the 'life and soul of the party'. The paper says plans are in place for a larger celebratory service later this month where all the surviving past ministers will be in attendance.

Friday's edition of The Courier covers the Moderator's visit to the local 7 SCOTS regiment. The story is not online, but it is similar to this story on the Church website

The Ekklesia blog picks up on the Moderator writing to the UK and Scottish Governments over his concerns on religious freedom in Nepal.

Thursday 30 July, 2015

In The National today, the Church is quoted in its story about the latest Westminster consultation on welfare provision for claimants who are obese, or suffering drug or alcohol addiction problems. A Church spokesman is quoted asking the government to make sure its reforms are "characterised by the principles of fairness and compassion, and for the Government to involve in decision making those who will be affected by its policy proposals as well as experts in the field."

The Mearns Leader and Kincardineshire Observer report the 'Day of Reckoning' is looming for Johnshaven Church, quoting the minister of Mearns coastal parish, Rev Colin Dempster expressing the hope someone will come forward and buy the property on behalf of the community so it can continue to be used as a community asset. He says it is a great pity the church is no longer viable as a place of worship, with the congregation moving to neighbouring St Cyrus for worship.

Dornoch Cathedral minister Rev Susan Brown is being interviewed by the BBC and STV today, as well as local media, in connection with the disappearance of 22 year old Lachlan Simpson following the local show night dance last weekend. Susan has created a 'prayer tree' in the Cathedral where people can share their prayers for Lachlan's safe return as well as offering a space for quiet reflection at a difficult time in the community. She says "There are lots of people in the community out looking for him and for those unable to join in the search it is important that they too can feel they're part of the wider concern so the Cathedral has been open to allow people space for reflection. Locals and visitors alike have been taking the time to pray for Lachlan – for his family, friends and all those searching for him." You can see a picture of the prayer tree on the Cathedral's Facebook page