Church in the news

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

Monday 25 May, 2015

Tern television produced excellent coverage of the General Assembly featuring the Church's efforts to nurture vocations and bring new people into the ministry.

BBC Radio Scotland interviewed Rev John Chalmers on his likes and dislikes on Sunday 17 May. 1:54:00

On BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland Rev Ian Galloway and Very Rev Albert Bogle discuss the events of the General Assembly. 1:05:25

The Donside Piper reports that "The Church of Scotland has moved a step closer to allowing people in same-sex marriages to be appointed as ministers."

The Herald interviews Youth Moderator Rachel Hutcheson in its regular feature Face to Face: "You need a relationship not just with God but also with your church."

STV Aberdeen reported on Rev Mary Whittaker, the Church's first born deaf minister and her hearing dog Scott. Scott delighted delegates at the General Assembly by giving his 'paw for peace'. Ms Whittaker called for a review of the rules on ministry to deaf people which are out of date.

Also reporting on Scott the Dog: The Herald Deadline News

The Linlithgow Gazette reports on the departure of former Church of Scotland minister Sandi McGill. "A former minister who was suspended by the Church of Scotland has finally decided to walk away – after alleged delays in handling her case."

Ekklesia reports that "An unprecedented 107 nations have signed a pledge to "stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences and associated risks" at the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York."

The Press and Journal reports on the church ending its relationship with the trade union Unite: The print edition for May 23 includes stories on Rev Scott Rennie, a new smartphone app developed by a minister from Shetland, and the need to maintain manses.

Wednesday 20 May, 2015

The Herald reports on the Church's call for action on economic policy in 'Church calls for tax and welfare reform to end the poverty spiral'.

The Scotsman reports on the Church's stance on fracking in its story 'Fracking may be key to energy future - Kirk report.'

The Press and Journal reports on the 74 ministers who dissented from the decision to allow parishes to call same-sex 'More than 70 Kirk members express anger at gay clergy decision'

The Belfast Newsletter reports on Presbyterians in Ireland who are unhappy about the General Assembly vote on ministers in same sex civic partnerships.

The Daily Record reports in its print edition that Rev Calum Jack, a 'Stirling Minister who openly opposed gay marriage is giving up his ministry after 10 years.'

Tuesday 19 May, 2015

BBC Radio Scotland interviewed ministers from Syria and Nepal who spoke to the General assembly Monday asking Church members to support Christians in their countries. Rev Ibrahim Nseir highlighted the kidnapping of priests and bishops and atrocities against ordinary Christians in Syria. (1:48:40) Rev Ram Kumar Budhathoki spoke about the situation in Nepal after two devastating earthquakes. (2:51:33)

The Herald reports on an initiative from the Panel on Review and Reform, writing that, "Pilot parishes are to be launched to test new ways of spreading power and pastoral care in the Church of Scotland as it attempts to weather a 'serious storm' of challenges to its future."

The Herald also reports on the Tomorrow's Calling campaign writing, 'Kirk turns to video to inspire new church leaders'

The Scotsman reports on the Panel on Review and Reform's initiative, saying, "Up to 20 Church of Scotland congregations will be chosen to take part in a new pilot scheme using business management techniques to boost numbers."

The Christian Institute reports on the General Assembly's vote to allow the calling of ministers in same sex civil partnerships.

Deadline News reports on the General Assembly in its stories:'Church of Scotland makes historic gay vote' 'Syrian and Nepalese ministers make plea to Church of Scotland'

On social media, using the Twitter hashtag #GA2015, a number of commissioners are blogging and tweeting about their thoughts and experiences in attending the Assembly. One blogger is Marc Falconer @marcfalconer81 who's thoughtful blog can be found at

On other news there is a fantastic story in The Courier,about a drug addict who says his life was saved by a rehab project at St Andrew's Church in Arbroath and the compassion he was shown when he was caught dealing heroin inside the church. Read the inspiring story here

Monday 18 May, 2015

The past week has attracted high levels of coverage of the Church in newspapers, on television and social media. The Tomorrow's Calling video promoting parish ministry has been viewed well over 30,000 times since it was posted last Tuesday, and the Church's Twitter and Facebook accounts have seen their most rapid periods of growth over the last week. We hope this will continue.

The Scottish media coverage of the start of this General Assembly has been overwhelmingly positive, and has broadly welcomed the decision by Commissioners this weekend to permit congregations to call ministers in same sex civil partnerships. From a media perspective, this favourable reception is unsurprising as the Church's members are moving in the direction of changes which have already happened in Scottish society and Scotland's civil law and enjoy broad popular support in the general Scottish population. The Church has been debating this change for 6 years, over which time Scots have radically changed the legal definition of marriage, become more politically engaged through the referendum campaign, and within the last 2weeks delivered an unprecedented General Election result. In this context, this very significant change for the Church has not been regarded as front page newsby journalists, whose main question has been to ask why it has taken so long.

The debate on social media has been much more mixed, with members expressing strong differing opinions on the implications of the vote. There have been particularly challenging opinions expressed by members of other denominations and many American Presbyterians who have challenged the direction the Church is taking.If social media tells us anything, it is clear that the Presbyterian community is deeply divided on this issue and comment strings on Facebook are not the place to look for either enlightenment or grace.#

A full link to the many articles mentioning the Church can be found clicking here:

Media attention on the Assembly is now turning to a debate regarding ministers entering into same sex marriages this Thursday. The Scotsman reports 'Kirk braced for new battle over same-sex marriage': Herald

In England, the Daily Telegraph writes "Church of Scotland plan for gay ministers offers possible 'template' for Anglicans"

The Telegraph also reports France's main Protestant church has voted to permit vicars to bless gay marriages

This week Ireland will hold a referendum on allowing gay marriage. The BBC has a news round up here General Assembly is not operating in a vacuum. We trust and pray commissioners who are mindful of the media coverage will not be unduly influenced by it in making their honest heartfelt decisions on the future of the Church