Church in the News: 16 May, 2017

News highlights Tuesday 9 May - Tuesday 16 May

Scotland's oldest man honoured

The Kirk has honoured the UK’s oldest man with a prestigious lifetime of service award.

109-year-old Alfred Smith, from the village of St Madoes in Perthshire, has been a member of the Church of Scotland since 1945 and an Elder since 1967.

Moderator of the General Assembly Rt Rev Russell Barr visited Mr Smith at home in the Carse of Gowrie to present the unique award on behalf of Scotland’s national church. While it is a regular occurrence to present a 'certificate of long service' to members of the Church, it is extremely rare a Moderator of the General Assembly makes a personal visit to present it.

The event was picked up across the UK media including:

i, The Telegraph, Sunday Times, The Courier, The Scotsman, The Herald, Daily Record, The National, The Daily Mail and around 130 local and regional newspapers

The story was also picked up by BBC Radio Scotland , TalkSport, Heart Scotland and Central FM.

Syrian minister denied General Assembly visa

A controversial decision to deny a trailblazing Syrian minister a visa to visit Scotland during the General Assembly has been branded “disturbing and mystifying”.

Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, Principal Clerk to the General Assembly, said he was “desperately disappointed” that Rev Rola Sleiman was being prevented from attending the annual gathering which starts in Edinburgh on Saturday.

The 42-year-old is the first female pastor in the Arab Christian world.

The story has been picked up in The Herald , The Times, The Scotsman and BBC Online.

Rev Ian Alexander spoke on BBC Radio Scotland about the issue.

Rev Ian May's community bank still attracting attention

Rev Ian May appeared on STV speaking about how he went from a high-flying banking career to becoming a minister. He speaks about how a community bank he has set up has been taking on payday loans.

Premier also wrote an article on Mr May.

Church supports anti-smacking ban

New proposals to give children equal protection from assault are not about criminalising parents, a Church of Scotland minister has said.

Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council, said the legislation does not seek to undermine discipline and is purely aimed at promoting non-violent forms of parenting.

The Kirk's stance has been widely publicised in The Herald, The Sunday Post, The Scotsman, Press & Journal,The National, AOL, The Courier, Daily Mail, Daily Record, The Herald and around 30 local newspapers.

Rev Dr Richard spoke about the issue on BBC Radio Scotland.