Church in the news

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

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

Saturday 16 May, 2015

Great excitement at the General Assembly as the new Moderator Rt Rev Angus Morrison is installed.

View the General Assembly proceedings live online at:

BBC Radio Scotland interviewed Rev Colin Sinclair and Rev Michael Mair about serving in the ministry on the John Beattie show: (starts at 1.09.30)

STV reported on the General Assembly in their story: Church of Scotland to vote on the ordination of gay ministers.

The Herald reports that: The Church of Scotland is expected to take the most critical step towards acceptance of openly gay clergy as the historic General Assembly opens in Edinburgh.

The Herald also reports that: Kirk should approach its annual gathering in upbeat mood.

The Herald also printed letters from Ian W Thomson and Pauline Weibye, Secretary of the Council of Assembly.

BBC online news reports : Church of Scotland to hold final vote on gay ministers.

The Stornoway Gazette reports: Historic vote starts Church of Scotland's General Assembly tomorrow.

The Southern Reporter also covers the General Assembly: Ordination vote at General Assembly.

Other news outlets covering the General Assembly are:

Kincardineshire Observer:

Deadline News:

Deeside Piper:

Hebrides News:

The Daily Record carried a story about CrossReach, saying "The Heart for Art project - which has seven groups across Scotland - will operate for at least the next three years thanks to a £230,000 donation from the Life Changes Trust."

The Courier reports that:Church of Scotland minister the Rev George Cooper has died at the age of 99.

Friday 15 May, 2015

Ministers wellbeing has been featured in the Daily Mail this week (not online) with an article about what the church is doing to look after its clergy. It was followed up by BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive programme, who interviewed Rev Neil Glover about the first wellbeing conference for ministers which the church is running at the end of August. You can hear the interview (starts 01.55.05) here and find out more about the conference here

The Tomorrow's Calling campaign highlighting the work of ministers is spreading fast through social media channels. The video has been viewed more than 20,000 times on Facebook and Youtube and has generated more than 8,000 clicks, shares and comments, almost all positive.

Evening News writer Gina Davidson mentions the church's recruitment drive in her column, "SNP must learn over education."

The Herald's Appointments section carries an article about the Tomorrow's Calling campaign on its cover.

The Midlothian Advertiser covers the election of Rev Elizabeth Morton as Moderator of the Lothian Presbytery.

The Daily Record credits Church of Scotland minister Rev Douglas Lister as the founder of Christian Aid in a story about Wishaw residents raising money for Nepal earthquake survivors.

The Record also reports on a 12-year-old girl who is raising awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease with the support of Old Parish Church in East Kilbride:

Thursday 14 May, 2015

The Herald reports on Rt Rev John Chalmers' call for a "year of grace" as the General Assembly prepares to talk about same-sex relations and the ministry. "The outgoing Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has appealed for calm ahead of the historic debate on the final acceptance of actively gay ministers for congregations who back clergy in civil partnerships."

Ekklesia reports that the Church of Scotland is one of four UK churches urging the prime minister to support the most vulnerable in our society.

Eco Congregation Scotland has published a map showing where the Climate Justice baton will visit ahead of the Climate Change conference in Paris in December. The baton, which bears the message: Churches in Scotland demand a deal in Paris, is being taken around the country to draw attention to the issue. Congregations can sign up to host the baton on the website.

The Tomorrow's calling campaign continues to draw a huge amount of interest from media and the public. The video has now more than 11,000 views. Check out our own story about the campaign.

The Moderators' Munro challenge continues to pull in much needed funds for the people of Nepal.