Church in the news

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

Thursday 2 June, 2016

Yesterday's filming of the next 'Take A Pew' conversation featuring Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP and the Very Rev Dr Lorna Hood on two church pews outside the Scottish parliament on a beautiful sunny day has received extensive positive press attention. 'Kirk is still vital to society says Ruth', writes The Daily Mail, 'Kirk Plays Key Role in Holding Society Together, says Davidson' states the Daily Telegraph, with similarly positive articles in Metro. The Herald, The Scotsman The Courier, Glasgow Evening Times, Paisley Daily Express, The Press and JournalAberdeen Evening Express.Interestingly, only one newspaper chose to mention Ruth's sexuality in connection with her professed faith and membership of the church even though she raised it herself during yesterday's interviews with the press. Also included in the Take a Pew conversation being filmed were the incoming Moderator of the National Youth Assembly Andrew MacPherson, and Edinburgh businessman and church member Alan Thornburrow. The Take a Pew video is due to be released in mid-June.

The Rev Carolann Erskine, spoke on Reporting Scotland about the murder of toddler Liam Fee and its impact on the community. She spoke of the Church's ability to provide comfort to the community at the time people needed compassion and assurance in the wake of Liam's death and the horrific details played out in the media over the long court case. Her congregation opened its doors last weekend so people in the community who are struggling to come to terms with his death had a place to reflect and be comforted. Carol's clip is at 1'13" in the programme, and the link is available until 7pm tonight.

The Rev Alan Sorenson appeared on Radio 2 this morning for 'Pause for Thought' on the Vanessa Feltz show. (starts at 44"19').

The Carrick Gazette featured a nice picture of pupils from Ballantrae Primary School collecting their Stevenson Prize for Excellence in Religious Observance from the Moderator at the General Assembly.

Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr and his wife Margaret have started a Moderator's Blog which they aim to update throughout their year with the support of the Communications team. This is a work in progress. A compilation of their thoughts and experiences during the General Assembly is now available.

Wednesday 1 June, 2016

The one hundred year anniversary of the Battle of Jutland was commemorated yesterday at St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney. Guests to the service included Nicola Sturgeon, David Cameron, Princess Anne and the German president, Joachim Gauck.

St Magnus Cathedral is currently hosting 'The Poppies: Weeping Window', an installation based on the display at the Tower of London and featuring several thousand bright red flowers cascading down the west wall of the cathedral.

The service gained widespread coverage including:

The Guardian

The Daily Mail

The Courier

The Scotsman


Elsewhere, an LGBT newspaper in the US, The Windy City Times, notes the General Assembly's recent decision to allow congregations to appoint ministers in same-sex marriages.

The Buchan Observerand the Press & Journal cover the merger of The Old Parish Church in Peterhead & with Trinity Parish Church. The new congregation will be called Peterhead New Parish Church.

Tuesday 31 May, 2016

A play entitled 'The Banker Who Cared' about the Rev Henry Duncan has recently been premiered as part of Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival. The Press & Journal describes Duncan as an "unsung hero who gave the poor something to bank on", referring to the savings bank he founded, which cost six pence to open as opposed to the standard fee of ten pounds. The Rev Henry Duncan was Moderator of the General Assembly in 1839.

Dame Helen Mirren has joined a campaign against a new sewage works in Ardersier, Inverness-shire. The actress was married from Ardersier Parish Church in 1997 and is reportedly deeply concerned for the effect that the new sewage works will have on the local area and village. The story appears in The Daily Express and The Sun.

The Edinburgh Evening News covers the unveiling of the new Charlotte Baptist Chapel on Shandwick Place after an extensive refurbishment of the former St George's West premises.

Monday 30 May, 2016

BBC 2 Scotlandbroadcast a programme presented by Sheena McDonald on the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

BBC Radio Scotland- Former convenor of the Church and Society Council the Rev Sally Foster Fulton, is quoted commenting on the displacement of people, as she commented on the issue at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

BBC Radio Scotlandhas broadcast an interview with new Church and Society Council convener the Rev Richard Fraser and former Moderator Dr Alison Elliot, an elder at Greyfriar's Kirk, who discuss the main issues from the Church of Scotland's General Assembly.

The Scotsman has published an article on the Church's support of Britain's armed forces. It reads: "The Church of Scotland General Assembly has given unanimous agreement to establishing its own Armed Forces Covenant so the Kirk can offer practical help to service personnel, veterans and their families".

The Courier, Scotsman and Herald all published a photograph of General Assembly artist in residence Iain D Campbell who painted a large painting of GA attendees. The published photographs also featured the Moderator the Right Rev Dr Russell Barr.

The Herald has carried a report on the General Trustees report to the General Assembly which states that congregations are being urged to sell off unused Glebe Land.

The Herald has published an article about the maintenance of Kirk buildings. It reads: "Communities that value their local church buildings should help pay for their upkeep as a way to safeguard the future of some crumbling landmarks, the Kirk has heard."

The Scotsman has published an article about religious leaders backing the UK to remain part of EU. The Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council, has signed a letter calling for an In vote.

The Press and Journal has published an article about World War One battle centenary commemoration services and references St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney, a Church of Scotland congregation.

A wide range of newspapers have published articles on commemoration events including the Sunday Express, Sunday Mail, Sunday Post, Mail on Sunday, The Sun and The Courier.

A range of outlets including the Herald, Scotsman and BBC Online have published articles about an inspection of St Magnus Cathedral after a piece of stonework plummeted to the ground ahead of a commemoration service to mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland.

The Central Fife Times has published an article about a church in Lochgelly which has a new minister who is from South Africa. Geoff Probert will lead the congregation at St Serf's Church.

The Dumfries Courier has published an article about a new play about a Kirk minister, Henry Duncan, who founded a savings bank.

The Courier has published an article which reads: "A regeneration project which aims to make one of the country's most significant churches fit for the 21st century and beyond has been given a major boost. St Athernase Church in Leuchars, which has been lauded by some as perhaps the finest example of Romanesque architecture in Scotland, dates back as far as 1150 and is visited by hundreds of people every year.

The Lennox Herald has published an article about the Ministries Council "Take a Pew" initiative which will feature Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson and former Moderator the Very Rev Dr Lorna Hood.

The Courier has carried a small article about the Heart and Soul band playing a concert in Bankfoot, Perthshire on June 3 with suggested donations going to the Church's HIV programme.

The Newsletter in Northern Ireland has reported - The Church of Scotland unanimously agreed this week to move "towards fuller communion" with the Church of England in an historic vote in Edinburgh.

The Sunday Herald published an article on the claimed decline of religion in Scotland.

The Herald has published several readers letters reflecting on the future of the Church of Scotland following a vote on same –sex clergy at the General Assembly.