Church in the News: 8 May, 2017

St Bride's Church chancel and the battle of Arras

The Chancel at St Brides's Church in Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire symbolises the miraculous return of Captain Hamish Weir Samson MC (Military Cross) who was missing, feared dead for nearly three months following the battle of Arras.

Captain Samson, who was known to his Army mates as “Sammy”, had been captured and was being held in a Prisoner of War Hospital in Karlsruhe in south-west Germany.

To celebrate his son’s astonishing survival, John Samson made a large donation to the church to extend the building, which dates back to 1824.

Read the full article online.

The story was picked up by The Herald, BBC Online, Daily Record and two local newspapers. It also was mentioned on ITV borders and on BBC Radio Scotland.

Minister takes on pay day lenders

Minister of South Leith Parish Church Rev Ian May is known in his parish as the man who took on the payday lenders.

Using his expertise from a former life as a banker, Mr May helped establish what he describes as a “social justice mission” that provides the community with an affordable alternative to the payday lenders, the Castle Community Bank.

Read our interview with Rev Ian May

His story has been picked up by The Times and New Statesman

Duke of Edinburgh thanked for ‘unstinting’ public service

Following the announcement of the retirement of the Duke of Edinburgh, the Right Rev Russell Barr paid tribute to his lengthy public service: “Long past the normal age of retirement the Duke has continued to lead a full and active public life and, as well as offering him the Church of Scotland’s warmest thanks, let me assure him of our prayers for continuing health and strength in his well-deserved retirement.”

The Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland, Very Rev Prof Iain Torrance, thanked the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip for his “unstinting” promotion of organisations across the country.

Many newspapers picked up the Church's statement including:

The Guardian, Daily Star,Daily Express and also Third Force News

Stars Wars day tweet

A Church of Scotland tweet which referenced 'Star Wars Day' made it on to the BBC website's top tweets on May 4. The tweet showed a daily meme that is produced by the Mission & Discipleship Council. Put out on twitter and facebook every day at 8am, these are always extremely popular and often tie in to particular themes or key dates.

Free Church of Scotland minister calls for co-operation

Former Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland the Rev David Robertson has called on the need for closer ties with the Church of Scotland in an article in The Courier

In response Very Rev Prof Iain Torrance said: “Today, all across Europe, in what is called the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE), we recognise each other as being limbs of the One Church on the basis of our common belief in the Gospel of justification.

“There are plenty of differences among us, but in the light of our common confession of the Gospel, we recognise each other as all being members of the One Church.

"On that basis, I’d reply to my friend and brother minister David Robertson that the Church of Scotland and the Free Church are already one.

“The diversity of our confessional traditions should be seen as an enrichment not an impairment.“Signs of being one church are that we welcome each other to our pulpits and to the Lord’s Table.

“And yes, he’s right, we should do more of that.”

New minister Rev Graeme Glover interviewed on Radio Jersey

Rev Graeme Glover, who was ordained and inducted in St Columba's, Jersey last week, spoke on BBC Radio Jersey about how he came to decide to become a minister and the 'joy' the role has for him.

Mr Glover was previously an aiid worker in Bosnia, Tajikistan, Armenia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Nepal.