Church in the news

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

Thursday 11 February, 2016

The Scotsman has published a commentary by CrossReach's Calum Murray on the importance of removing the stigma from mental health care.

"For too many years mental health has carried a stigma which has made people feel like they need to hide what they are going through from colleagues, family – and even from themselves. This is destructive for many reasons, but perhaps most significantly because it prevents people from seeking the support that would help them to recover.

"This stigma is now being challenged. People from all walks of life are telling their stories of experiencing mental health problems, and of recovering from them. I was inspired to read Rev David McNeish, a Church of Scotland minister in Orkney, discussing his own experiences of mental health in this newspaper a few weeks ago."

The Daily Record reports that the funeral of Fife pensioner and Leven Parish Church member Mary Logie, who was found dead after a brutal attack, will be held on Friday Feb 19.

"The funeral of Mary Logie will take place at her local Leven Parish Church where she attended services every Sunday. The 82-year-old will then be buried at East Wemyss Cemetery less than five miles from her flat where she was found dead on January 5.

The Courier also reports on Mrs Logie's funeral. (print p6)

The Church of England newspaper reports that this month's General Synod will discuss a report calling for the Church to reach out to black and ethnic minority Christians, saying they are underserved. The story also discusses the synod's forthcoming discussion of the Columba Declaration, the proposed first formal agreement between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England. Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison has been invited to speak at the Synod. (print p3)

The Dumfries and Galloway Standard reports that Mouswald Kirk, a former church may be converted into a home. The building was last used for worship eight years ago and has been deconsecrated. (print p5)

Finance Moves magazine reports on the appointment of Mrs Anne Macintosh as General Treasurer to the Church. (print p8)

Legal Moves magazine reports on the appointment of Ms Mary Mcleod as Solicitor to the Church and Law Agent of the General Assembly. (print p13)

The Scotsmanlists the wealthiest charities in Scotland noting that the University of Edinburgh is number one on the list with an income of £819 million. The story also places the Church at number 11 on the list with, "an income of just under £110 million—slightly less than its expenditure of £111.6m." The listing includes income that comes to CrossReach to fund the Kirk's social care work.

Ekklesia reports on the Church's comment supporting the government's action plan on Female Genital Mutilation.

"Iain Whyte, Secretary of the Church of Scotland Guild, said it was vital to recognise that the human rights crime was a "problem in the UK" as well as other countries and must be addressed.

"Children's charity Unicef has published research that shows at least 200 million girls and women alive today in countries such as Indonesia, Egypt, Ethiopia and Somalia have undergone ritual cutting."

The Irvine Times reports on the refurbishment of Fullarton Church.

"WORSHIPPERS will return to Irvine's Fullarton Church at the end of this month after an extensive year-long £1.2 million refurbishment.

"Services will resume at the 178-year-old church on Sunday, February 28, at 10.30am and 6.30pm after a year which has seen the congregation attend services at St Andrew's Church and other venues across the town."

The Press and Journal report on community efforts to support a family in Burghead, Moray, where the father is terminally ill. Efforts to raise money for the family include a coffee morning at Burghead Church.

BBC2's Scotland 2016responds to former Moderator the Right Reverend Andrew McLellan who headed a recent review into child abuse in the Scottish Catholic Church. He has called on the government to broaden the scope of the current inquiry into abuse of children in care or the "pain and humiliation of survivors will be repeated". The inquiry currently looks at child abuse of young people in care, but not at the abuse of children outside care settings. Angela Constance MSP says she consulted religious institutions including the Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland when deciding the scope of the inquiry. (story is first item in programme)

BBC Radio Scotland's Kaye Adams show reports on a Christian Aid initiative to persuade Christians to switch to renewable energy sources. The story notes that the Church of Scotland and Christian Aid campaigned for action on climate change together in 2009. The Church of Scotland has asked people to review and reduce their energy use where possible, but is not part of this current Christian Aid camapign. (2:51:23)

Wednesday 10 February, 2016

In partnership with Christian Aid we will be offering specially created Lent reflections starting today. Our multimedia journey starts with a video reflection, and will continue throughout Lent with daily prayers, meditations and images inspired by the journeys of the ancient saints.

Very Rev John Christie gave the Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland on 9 Feb. (01:23:52) Listen here as he discusses prisons and Jesus' compassion for prisoners.

The Herald publishes an obituary for Archie MacLullich, former depute director for social work for the Church of Scotland Board of Social Responsibility. (print p23)

The Press and Journal reports on the Moderator's visit to Inverbervie's Voyage of Life garden, saying:

"Brighter Bervie, the team behind the garden, which featured on the Beechgrove Garden TV series last year, hailed the visit a success.." (print p4)

The Courier also covered the story. (print p4)

The Tayside and Fife Courier also reported on the Moderator's visit to the Voyage of Life garden, and included a photo.

The Aberdeen Evening Express devoted a brief to the Moderator's visit to Aberdeen and his engagements, including preaching at Holburn West Church last Friday. (print p12)

The Courier covered the Kirkin' of the Guildry at the Dundee Parish Church, St Mary's. Rev Keith Hall conducted the service. (print p5)

The Evening Expressreports that vandals have smashed windows of a Mastrick Parish Church bus used to transport elderly people in Mastrick and its surrounding areas. (print p2)

The Paisley Daily Express reports on the possible closure of St James Church.

"The final decision on the future of one of Paisley's most historic churches is due to be taken within weeks. As revealed in the Paisley Daily Express, it is understood that the architecturally-stunning and historic St James' Church, in Underwood Road, will shut its doors at the beginning of June." (print p4)

The story of White Light, the Christian rock band who saw their 1974 album declared a collector's item and rereleased on the Guerrsen label, continues to be reported on local newspapers around the country. Here it is in the:

Arbroath News.

Stornoway Gazette.

The Press and Journal reports on efforts to support the family of a father fighting the lung disease sarcoidosis. The story reports that Burghead Church of Scotland is staging a coffee morning to raise funds for the family.

"Burghead man Keith Douglas has been astounded by the support he and his family have received from villagers since becoming the beneficiaries of a £4,000 fundraising campaign last year. Mr Douglas was given just a year to live in May 2014, and his family says he is getting by "on borrowed time" (print p8)

Monday 8 February, 2016

The reissue of a Christian hard rock album from 1974, after the original was declared ultra-rare and highly collectable, grabbed headlines across the media. Retired minister, Doug McRoberts, who helped create the Out of Africa Into Malta refugee project was the lead guitarist in White Light before the band went their separate ways. On Friday he and his fellow band members reunited in Pollokshields Parish church, where his brother bass player Dave McRoberts is an elder. The band had no amplifier but managed to play a couple of songs anyway.

The story appeared on television Friday 5 Feb and in print media Saturday 6 Feb.

The BBC's Reporting Scotlandbroadcast the story at the end of the 6 pm news 5 Feb. 2016.

BBC Online report that, 'Scottish rock album Parable re-released after 40 years'

The Daily Express reported that, 'Scots Christian rockers back in demand – 40 years on'

The Scotsman and Evening News report that 'The Boys are back in town—rockers make a comeback'.

The Daily Mail wrote: Rockers of Ages 'extremely surprised'. p15 News

The Daily Record: 'Reverend Doug is a born again rock'n'roll star'. (print p18)

The Herald reports that, 'Ageing Scots rockers rediscovered after 40 years'.

The Daily Star reported, 'Parable of a Prodigal Rock band'. (print p9)

The Press and Journal report the story in the north edition. (print p7)

Premier Christian News writes, '70s Christian rock band gets another shot at the big time'.

The Scotsman's picture of the week shows Borthwick Castle and the nearby parish church.

The Falkirk Herald writes about the history of the village of Limerigg, noting that the Church of Scotland established a mission church there in 1880.

The Clydebank Post reports that, 'Fire damaged St Patrick's Church in Old Kilpatrick expected to re-open in June'.

A column by Rev Tom Cant in the Paisley Daily Express looks at the contributions of Mary Slessor and Peter Marshall. (print p16)

Local radio stations across England and Wales reported on a plea from four churches including the Church of Scotland, for governments to do more to support Syrian refugees.

The Courier reports that Dundee churches have come together to create work opportunities for local people through social enterprises. (print p8)

The Courier also reports that Pope Francis may visit St Andrews University later this year. (print p26)

The Scotsman also reports on the proposed visit by Pope Francis.

Life and Work reports that Dunfermline Abbey has been named one of the nine most influential buildings in Scotland.

Life and Work also reports that £400,000 seized during criminal investigations will be given to charities including the Boys and Girls Brigades.

"Justice Secretary Michael Matheson paid a visit to The Boys' Brigade headquarters at Carronvale House in Larbert last Friday to announce over £400,000 of additional funding for youth projects across Scotland.

"The money, which has been seized from criminals through the Proceeds of Crime Act and reinvested as part of the Cashback for Communities Programme, will be shared amongst organisations including the Scottish arms of the Boys' and Girls' Brigades, Scouts and Guides."

The Press and Journal report that the Moderator is visiting Aberdeen where he preached a sermon at Holburn West Church.

"During the service, he also presented over 30 long-service certificates to elders, Sunday school teachers, choir members and organists. Between them, they had dedicated around 1,000 years service to the church." (Print P10)

Friday 5 February, 2016

The Edinburgh Evening News carries an obituary of Rev Isobel Kelly, who died in Armadale last month at the age of 70. It says "Isobel Kelly was one of Scotland's trailblazing female ministers, a teacher whose calling led her to train as a missionary before the success of a hard-fought campaign, resulting in the decision to allow the ordination of women, finally opened the door to her true vocation." You can read more in the fulsome tribute to her remarkable life.

STV News carries Rev Sally Foster Fulton's quote urging action to tackle the high cost of funerals in their coverage of the funeral poverty report released yesterday. 

The Ekklesia website carries a joint plea from the Church in conjunction with the Methodist Church, Baptist Union of Great Britain and the United Reformed Church urging substantial increase in funding being made available to alleviate the suffering of Syrian refugees.  

The Edinburgh Evening News carries the obituary of Cameron Cochrane OBE, a Church elder and Session Clerk who died in Edinburgh at the age of 82 last December. It says "A deep, personal faith underpinned his life, providing, as it did, the basis for the quiet courage and determination he had. He was a kind man, self-deprecating about his own achievements, and genuinely concerned about others."

The Aberdeen Evening Express previews the Moderator's visit to Inverbervie next Monday, when he'll tour the Voyage of Life garden which recently featured in the BBC's Beechgrove Garden programme. The community project to create the garden was led by members of the church. Chairman of brighter Bervie, local elder Tom Campbell, says the timing of the visit is unseasonable but they wanted the Moderator to recognise their achievements before parish minister Rev Dennis Rose retires in April. (print only)

Today, the Communications team has been helping Rev Doug McRobert's mark the unexpected re-release of a Christian rock LP his band White light recorded in 1974. Billed as 'Every aging rocker's dream' the story has captured many journalists' imagination and is set to be featured on radio, TV and in newspapers. You can hear Doug McRobert's and his brother Dave interviewed on BBC Good Morning Scotland this morning at 43'14". You can listen to White Light's music on the record company website, and see a short video of White Light performing at the Glasgow photocall this morning.  

There's an interesting article about the impact Church of Scotland missionaries had in establishing the Protestant church in Kenya in the Business Daily website, and the heavy toll exacted on them by malaria.