Church in the news

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

Thursday 15 September, 2016

Inspirational Jane Haining story receives global attention The Communications team worked with Rev Ian Alexander and Carol Finlay in our World Mission Council to promote their story about the discovery of the last will and testament of legendary Church of Scotland missionary Jane Haining, who cared for Jewish schoolgirls in Budapest during the second world war. She died in the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland in 1944.  

The article, accompanied by rare and priceless images, was published by CNN (which translated the article into Spanish for its Latino audience), Fox News in America, Channel 9 news in Australia and the Huffington Post – these media outlets all published a fantastic video made by our Comms team. Most major UK broadcasters BBC – TV, radio and web), STV (TV and web) ITV (TV and web), the Times, Daily Mail, Guardian, Daily Record The Sun, (double page spread) Herald, Scotsman, RT in Ireland and many more daily titles published the story.

BBC Online Video

BBC Online news report


Fox News

The Huffington Post

The Sun

The Guardian

Watch Rev Ian Alexander's video which has been embedded on many news websites

A new church opened in Castlemilk and as well as working in concert with local foodbanks, minister Rev Sarah Brown is pioneering twice-monthly meals. The story was liked by over one thousand people on our Facebook page and reported widely, including in:

The Evening Times: New Church opens in Castlemilk

The Evening Times: City projects share in food poverty fund

The Scotsman: Kirk launches community meals to help those in need

Third Force News: Church shelves foodbanks to offer community meals

Two Dunfermline ministers drew attention to the value of a church wedding by attending a Dunfermline Wedding Fair. Rev Mary Ann Rennie and Rev Monika Redman made news including the front page of The Courier

The Havilah project in Arbroath, which helps addicts into recovery reached its 10 year anniversary at the same time as a report showed drug deaths in Scotland are at record levels. Rev Martin Fair, whose congregation runs the project, did a fantastic job of working with The Courier to tell this important story. Take a look and see how the paper used case studies –interviewing people who have been helped through the project—a crucial element for getting your positive story into the media.

The Courier story on the Havilah project

The congregations of Barra and South Uist got a new minister after years of being without one. Rev Lindsay Schlucter’s induction was reported in many titles including:

The Press and Journal

The Island News

The Daily Record

and in The Oban Times and The Stornoway Gazette

A chaplain who was sent out to an Ebola treatment hospital told us about the privilege and challenge of his work. Rev Chris Kellock’s story drew attention all over the media including:

The Times

East Lothian Courier

The Herald

The Edinburgh Evening News

A war ledger preserved in the church offices revealed the extent of damage to churches by Luftwaffe bombing during WWII. The story was picked up by national and local titles across the country including:

Sunday Post

The Herald

The Times

Stornoway Gazette

The Let us Build a House campaign raised more than £200,000 ( now up to more than £215,000) to help people in Nepal made homeless after the earthquake. The story was reported in The Herald, The Evening News, The Forfar Dispatch, The Scotsman and we hope it will also appear in other regional weeklies.

Life and Work reported on how the Rome churches came together to support Let us Build a House and are now fundraising for the Italian earthquake.

A minister who was jailed and forbidden to talk about her case was completely exonerated by an judicial enquiry and will now campaign for changes in the way child visitation is handled. Rev Tracy Hart's story was told in full in

The Sunday Mail

and was picked up by other media including:

The Courier

Irish Mirror

Rev Shuna Dicks held a service that celebrated the congregation’s pets with a pet blessing and the media loved the story. It appeared in:

STV online

The Herald and the Evening Times

Mrs Dicks was also interviewed on radio stations around the country because of her work setting up a charity to help Syrian refugees in Scotland. The interviews recognised that 1,000 refugees have now come to Scotland.

Church of Scotland minister Rev John Swinton, Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care at the School of Divinity with Religious Studies and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen has won the prestigious Michael Ramsay prize for theological writing for his book Dementia: Living in the memories of God.The story was reported in Christian Today among other outlets.

The East Lothian Courier reported that the Moderator will visit the Presbytery of the Lothians at the end of September.

Life and Work reported on Kathy Galloway’s visit to refugee camps in Greece. The former head of Christian Aid reflects on the impact of war on children.

Life and Work also reported thatthe Moderator will address a housing conference on 7 October.

The 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on New York was commemorated in  Glasgow's Old Cathcart Church with a ceremony that brought Christians and Muslims together to honour those who died. The service led by Rev Neil Galbraith was reported on Sunday's BBC news and in print media including:
The Scotsman

The National

Glasgow Live

The Church’s Facebook page is growing fast with more than 10,500 likes and many more people sharing our stories, which is the best way to gain the widest audience. Posts on the page are now regularly reaching over 100,000 people.

Monday 22 August, 2016

Visit to Srebrenica

As chair of the Scottish charity 'Remembering Srebrenica', the Very Rev Dr Lorna Hood has led a delegation to Bosnia. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has accompanied Dr Hood on the visit.

Dr Hood said: "The terrorist events of the last few months and years around the world should make us even more aware that hatred and discrimination if left unchallenged and unchecked can lead to terrible evil even amongst those who have previously been neighbours and friends."

"Many of the bereaved are still waiting for justice and for the remains of their loved ones to be found."

Dr Hood's involvement with the charity 'Remembering Srebrenica (Scotland)' dates back to 2013 when, as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, she was invited to visit the site of the genocide and meet the mothers of some of the victims. Since then she has worked closely with people of all faiths to promote the lessons of Srebrenica and to help prevent such tragic events from occurring in future.

The visit has been reported widely across Scotland, including in the Daily Express, The Times, The Herald, the Daily Record and the BBC website.

BBC Radio Scotland also covered the trip in a news bulletin. (2"02'35)

Wedding Statistics

Following the release of the most recent marriage statistics by the National Records of Scotland there were reports in the media that Humanist weddings outstripped church ones for the first time.

However, the Humanists in Scotland are now split into three organisations and it is worth noting that this statistic is only true if all three groups are combined.

For an overview please read the article on the Church of Scotland website.

The Scotsman also wrote an interesting editorial on the subject.

Richard Ellis

Richard Ellis, former Fulton lecturer at New College, has had further media coverage speaking about his 35 years assessing and training trainee ministers.  

You can read about Mr Ellis in the Press & Journal, The Scotsmanand The Herald,

Monday 15 August, 2016

Church in the News highlights 2/8/16 - 15/8/16

Post-Brexit Concerns for EU Citizens

The Rev Anikó Schütz Bradwell, who leads the Humbie with Yester, Bolton and Saltoun congregations in East Lothian, has spoken of concerns for EU nationals living in Scotland in the wake of the Brexit vote.

"Since the referendum there have been many reports of increased racist abuse. It seems to me that the rhetoric used by some of the politicians in the campaign for Brexit has made it legitimate to use racist language. I've noticed that I have at times been more nervous about speaking German to friends, or on the phone, in public."

Ms Schütz Bradwell spoke out ahead of a Scottish Government summit in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

The Story has been picked across major Scottish newspapers including The Sun, The Herald The Courier, The Press & Journal and The National.

Richard Ellis

Richard Ellis, who has recently retired after 35 years of holding the Fulton Lectureship at New College, was interviewed on Good Morning Scotland (BBC Radio Scotland) about his role as a voice coach for Church of Scotland ministers. In 35 years Mr Ellis estimates he has seen more than 820 church services to assess his students. (17")  

Rev Dr Moyna McGlynn

Tributes have been paid to the Rev Dr Moyna McGlynn, who passed away earlier this month. Described as "immensely popular and inspirational", Dr McGlynn was the minister at Govan and Linthouse parish church. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon personally paid tribute to her work locally.

The story appeared in The Herald, The Scotsman, and The Glasgow Evening Times.

Rev Bob Mallinson

The Rev Bob Mallinson of Menziehill has spoken out about leaving school at fifteen and how the next decade of his life spiralled out of control due to drugs and alcohol abuse. He turned his life around after attending church at Easter in 2001 and later trained for the ministry.

"I decided to speak out to try and bring a sense of hope to people, whether it is someone in the midst of alcohol or drug addiction problems or family members or parents trying to work out what to do and where to go,” he explained.
"It is also about sharing God’s story at work in my life"

The Daily Record and Dundee Evening Telegraphpublished the story. 

The Glasgow Bible

Jamie Stuart, author of the Glasgow Bible, has died at the age of 95. The Glasgow Bible is a lively translation of the New Testament into Glaswegian. Mr Stuart was much loved as a storyteller, Christian writer and Church Elder. Listen to the Glasgow Bible being read on our website.

Obituaries can be read at the following sites:

The Scotsman
The Telegraph
The Herald

Monday 1 August, 2016

Church in the news highlights 26/7 - 1/8/16

Churches step up to feed kids and prevent "summer hunger"

St Columba’s Church of Scotland in Ayr is feeding 153 children this summer after a local head teacher expressed fears that pupils would go hungry during the school holidays.

The story was picked up by The Herald, The Glasgow Evening TimesandThird Force News.

The scheme was also mentioned on BBC 1 Scotland's Breakfast Show.

Dylan Harper of St Columba's, Ayr, spoke on BBC Radio Scotland about the project (56"20').

A similar scheme is being run in Penicuik North Kirk where 49 children, referred by the council’s Children and Families Unit, are being fed five times a week. The story was published in the Edinburgh Evening News.

Priest Murder in France

The National Police Chiefs' Councils says UK churches should be "alert but not alarmed" (1"35') following the brutal attack on a priest in France. The Rev Dr Martin Scott spoke on Radio 5 Live stating "we welcome strangers and friends alike - we don't want to alter this" but added that the Kirk had been in close contact with the police and a detailed guidance document had  been sent out to ministers.  

Rev Dr Martin Scott also spoke on BBC Radio Scotland(1"02'30)

The statement was also published in The Herald.

'Kirk Probes Government's climate change priorities'

The Press and Journal featured a large article voicing concerns raised by Vice-Convener of the Church & Society Council Pauline Edmiston, who fears a low carbon economy may be at risk due to changes to the Government's renewable energy policy.

Read the Church of Scotland article.

Obituary for Deaconess who gave more than 50 years of service to the Church of Scotland

The Aberdeen Evening Express Paid tribute to Moyra McCallum, who was described as a 'stalwart member of Woodside Parish Church'. An expert in the Old Testament, she taught at  St Colm's College, Edinburgh and Aberdeen University.

Church Organist

A Church organist has achieved his dream of playing all 94 cathedral organs in the UK by completing his challenge at St Andrew's Cathedral, Inverness.