Church in the news

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

Tuesday 1 March, 2016

The Church has again received a lot of media attention and for an amazingly wide range of stories.

The launch of an Affordable Credit Action Group, co-chaired by Very Rev John Chalmers was reported in:

The Press and Journal.

The Evening Express.

Evening Times.

Here's our own story:

The release of a Humanist-financed report on the influence of the religion in public life was widely reported. You can download the 355-page report (pdf) here.

The story was reported on BBC Radio Scotland's news bulletins and Very Rev John Chalmers was interviewed forBBC Radio Scotland's Newsdriveprogram. (21:30) and for BBC Reporting Scotland: (07:51)

STV Online.

BBC Online.

The Herald. (print p9)

Christian Today.

The Moderator's defense of Gaelic education in Edinburgh drew media attention. Rt Rev Angus Morrison, who is a Gaelic speaker and an advocate for the language, joined Bruce Robertson, chief executive of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, to express concerns over plans that will limit Gaelic courses available to students leaving Gaelic primary school. The story was reported by:

BBC online.

STV online.

The Herald.

The Scotsman.

The Times. (print p12)

"The Moderator, the Rev Arthur (Times error) Morrison, who is a Gaelic speaker, said: "I have been surprised and saddened to learn of an apparent crisis in Gaelic medium education in Edinburgh.

"I am deeply concerned about the potentially disastrous consequence of this development for the longterm provision of Gaelic education at secondary level in Edinburgh. I fear that if Gaelic is allowed to wither in Scotland's capital it becomes very fragile indeed."

Dr Morrison added: "The Scottish education system has, in my opinion, historically contributed in a major way to the decline of Gaelic by deriding and physically punishing children for speaking the language. I believe it should be making amends by doing everything it can to revitalise it."

Rev Scott Rennie has started an LGBT fan club for the Aberdeen football club. The fan club was covered by:

The Times (print p14)

STV North.

The Sun's story about Easter Eggs containing tonic wine was reported in other media, including:


Evening Times.

Daily Record.

The Herald.

The (Aberdeen) Evening Express reports that a group that includes members of St Stephen's Parish Church are looking for volunteers to help staff a new community centre.

"VOLUNTEERS are needed to assist with the running of a new community centre. Froghall Community Centre has recently reopened as a learning centre after a local charity was set up to oversee a programme of events suitable for all ages. The Froghall Community Centre Association committee is composed of local residents and representatives from Sunnybank Community Centre and St Stephen's Parish Church." (print p10)

Residents of Ballater are struggling after insurance companies disputed their flood damage claims. BBC online reported the story which was also reported on BBC television's Reporting Scotland. (2:18)

If you missed our own flood update last week, you can see it here

Monday 29 February, 2016

In the last few days, the Church has been mentioned in stories about affordable credit, the European Union, a report for the Humanist Society on the status of religion in Scotland, a discussion about who is welcome in churches and a story about Easter eggs infused with Buckfast – a "tonic wine".

The affordable credit story was reported in The National.

"SCOTLAND'S credit industry must break the cycle of financial exclusion experienced by the country's poorest borrowers.

"A report by the Carnegie UK Trust's Affordable Credit Working Group calls for a "step-change" in Scotland's credit industry to remove barriers to accessing affordable credit and allowing Scotland's poorest borrowers to access basic bank accounts…

"Very Reverend John Chalmers, principal clerk to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, will chair the new Action Group on affordable credit. He added: "The inequality in our financial system has to change if Scotland is to overcome its wider social problems. Improving access to cheaper, small and short term loans to those who can afford to repay them could improve people's quality of life – particularly those in disadvantaged communities."

The story was also covered by:

The Herald.

West FM.

Shropshire Star.

The Jersey Evening Post.

Clyde 2.

And others.

The Heraldcovers a report financed by the Humanist Society on the influence of the Church, claiming that it shows the influence of religion in Scottish schools is increasing.

"The Religion in Scots Law report found that while other areas of public life – including marriage – have become more secular, education is the "major exception".

"The research points to an "increasing" influence on schools - a finding which has been disputed by both the Catholic Church and Church of Scotland, which claims its role in education is "measured and appropriate".

The National also covers the report noting that ministers get a 50 percent reduction in council tax (as do publicans and farm workers because they live in tied housing) and again voicing the claim that the Church's influence in education has increased. (print only)

BBC Radio Scotland also covered the story in news broadcasts and on Good Morning Scotland MS (1:46:30) Listen here.

BBC Radio Scotland's Sunday Morning With…broadcasts an interview with Rev Jack Kellet who shared stories of his ministry in South Leith. Listen here. (1:42:20)

An opinion column in The Telegraphtakes issue with religious organisations voicing a view on the European Union referendum saying there are legitimate arguments on both sides.

The Sun published a story and editorial on the marketing of Buckfast Easter Eggs, concluding, "We don't want to be a killjoy but let's keep booze and Easter Eggs separate." Story here: Editorial: print p10

The Record followed up on the same story using the Church's comment :

"Combining Buckfast with Easter is not a marriage made in heaven. Easter is a special time of year and we would urge people not to lose sight of that in the rush to promote products which could send the wrong message to our children."

The Evening News reported that the Moderator welcomed progress on the devolution of powers deal between the Scottish and UK governments. (print p10)

The Evening Telegraphreports that Coldside Parish Church in Dundee is to install CCTV after thieves caused thousands of pounds of damage.

"The church minister, Rev Tony Thornthwaite, today told the Tele that CCTV would help community groups which use the church building feel safe and secure in the premises.

"He said: 'It is for peace of mind as well as being a deterrent. It also means that if something does happen then we can catch the people who are behind it.'"

The Daily Record reported on disagreement in Glasgow about whether a Bishopbriggs Church was right to allow a local Muslim group to meet in a room in the church for Friday prayers after their cultural centre was destroyed in a wilful fire attack. The story was inaccurate in several respects but overall was supportive to the minister as was an editorial published in the print edition.

Christian Todaypicked up the story in a commentary.

The Belfast Telegraph included the Church of Scotland in its story 48 Hours in Amsterdam. It notes the Church is based in the Engelskirk where the pulpit has panels decorated by Piet Mondriaan and includes the time of Sunday worship: 10:30 am. (Print)

Friday 26 February, 2016

The heart-warming story about a Church of Scotland member from Perth who sold homemade tablet for £1 a bar to raise money to build a house for a destitute family in Kenya has been published by a wide range of news outlets.

Margaret Bayne's story received a full page in the Daily Recordand Courier newspaper.

The Herald published a substantial piece with two photographs. The online version of the newspaper's story can be read here

Online versions of the story published by other titles can also be read here.


STV -;


Aberdeen Evening Express

Press and Journal

Brits in Kenya

Kenya News

The Daily Record has published an article featuring a Kirk minister who has hit back over complaints he received when he opened his church's doors to Muslims after their mosque was firebombed.

The Daily Record has carried an article about the Buchanan centre in Kilmarnock – a Church property which recently sustained storm damage.

The Kincardineshire Observer and Mearns Leader have published an article about the public reaction to the future of a church building in Johnshaven.

Thursday 25 February, 2016

The Scotsman reports on a Perthshire street pastor who raised money to build a house for a homeless family in Kenya by selling her own homemade tablet. Look out for more on this heartwarming story as it is picked up by print publications.

Keep the Faith's website visits 'The Jungle' in Calais and speaks to some of its residents.

"Thank God that the Church response to this crisis is nothing like the Government's politically motivated and half-measured responses. For example, four UK churches are calling on the governments to provide substantial funding to alleviate the suffering of Syrians, as the 2016 International Pledging Conference for Syria is in progress. The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church are asking for new funding to include refugees in the neighbouring countries of Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan."

The Dumfries and Galloway Standard reported on the Boys Brigade ceremony in Carluke where Very Rev Andrew McLellan presented certificates to graduates of the King George VI leadership training course.

"Graham Dunse, 18, of the 1st Troqueer Company, was presented with a certificate for completing the King George VI Youth Leadership scheme…

"Graham, a former pupil of Castle Douglas High School said, 'KGVI has provided me with a qualification and helped improve my leadership and communication skills, while at the same time developing friendships which I know will last a lifetime. The experience has given me the motivation and confidence to make a difference for future BB generations.'" (print only)

The Press and Journal reports that The Sound of Many Waters Gospel Choir will visit Foveran Church hall on Saturday (27 Feb) at 6 pm. (print p6)