Church in the news

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

Friday 29 January, 2016

The BBC has published an article on a report that outlines a proposed new ecumenical relationship between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England. It reads: "The Columba Declaration commits the Churches to "grow together in communion and to strengthen their partnership in mission. Founded in two different branches of Protestantism, England's Church is Anglican and Scotland's Presbyterian. The two Churches will be debating the report over the coming months. The Church of England's General Synod will hold a debate in February and the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will consider the report in May.

The report was released this morning and so far the story has been published by the Anglican News. and the Glasgow Extra 

The Cumbernauld News has published an article about Orkney minister David McNeish who is featured in the latest Tomorrow's Calling video. Raised in Cumbernauld as a child, the 40-year-old explains why entering the ministry has been his most fulfilling role to date. (print only) The newspaper also published the video, aimed at encouraging people to enter the ministry, on its Facebook page.

The Milngavie and Bearsden Herald also published the story.

The Arbroath Herald has published an opinion piece by a woman called Sheila Mann who has written about the aims and objectives being pursued by the Church of Scotland Guild in 2016. (print only)

The Banffshire Journal has published a Q&A feature involving Banff Parish church elder Sheila Smith, a former primary school teacher, who was asked some questions about life, faith and school. She says : "I have endured many ups and downs during my life and feel my faith has carried me through them. An older relative once told me that whatever happens in your life, it is all part of the bigger picture and the plan that God has for you. This has kept me positive even in difficult times." (print only)

The Berwickshire News has published an article about a service that marks two milestone for Duns Parish Church – a major fire in 1879 that led to the building being rebuilt and the installation of an organ. (print only)

The Falkirk Herald has published an article about Jean Jackson, an elder at Zetland Parish Church, who won an award in recognition of the years she has spent volunteering in her local community of Grangemouth. (print only)

The Falkirk Herald has carried an article about a theatre production of the "God Particle" – which examines whether God exists or whether the universe was created as a consequence of science. It is being staged at Brightons Parish Church. (print only)

The Fife Free Press has published an opinion piece by the Reverend Rosemary Frew of Abbotshall Church in Kirkcaldy who reflects on Robert Burns and Christianity. (print only)

The Glenrothes Gazette has published an article about work to restore the bell at the town's St Columbas Church. (print only)

The Inverness Courier has published an article about a husband and wife who were ordained as ministers at the same service. Susan Cord and James Bissett of Cowdenbeath, Fife were warmly welcomed into the Presbytery of Ross at Knockbain Church in Munlochy near Inverness on Saturday. (print only)

The Rutherglen Reformer has published an article about a series of musical concerts set to take place at Stonelaw Church.

Thursday 28 January, 2016

The Church of Scotland's story about plans to re-open a Royal chapel within St Giles Cathedral nearly a year after it was locked due to a spate of thefts has been published by most national/daily news outlets in Scotland, including weekly online newspapers.

Cathedral staff are in the process of hiring two part-time chapel assistants which means free, open public access to The Thistle Chapel will be available from mid-March.

Titles to have carried the story include The Sun, The Press and Journal, The Courier, The National and the Edinburgh Evening News.

The Herald's story can be read here

The Scotsman's article can be read here 

STV's coverage can be viewed here 

BBC Scotland's article can be read here

The Church of Scotland's Tomorrow's Calling video featuring Orkney minister the Rev David McNeish has been published online by the Cumbernauld Newsand theMilngavie and Bearsden Herald. Mr McNeish, who spent his childhood in Milngavie and Cumbernauld, talks about the joy and fulfilment he gets from his role. The Scotsman and the Orcadian have also published the video online.

The Edinburgh Evening News has published an article about the appointment of two senior officials at the Kirk's offices in Edinburgh. Mary Macleod has been named as the new Solicitor of the Church and Law Agent of the General Assembly while Anne Macintosh has been appointed as the new General Treasurer. (print only)

The Stirling Observer has published an article about the Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, Convener of the Church of Scotland's Church and Society Council, who has been appointed the head of Christian Aid Scotland. (print only)

Bermuda news website Bernews has published an article about the Rev Alistair Bennett, minister of Melrose Parish Church who is soon taking up a new post at Christ Church in Warwick, Bermuda.

Former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland the Very Rev Lorna Hood is quoted in an article published by STV about a forensic scientist who worked in Bosnia in the aftermath of the genocide has created a series of artworks inspired by his experiences. The powerful artworks are part of an exhibition in the members' lobby at the Scottish Parliament. Ms Hood, chairwoman of Remembering Srebrenica Scotland, said: "The Srebrenica genocide shamed Europe and shamed the world. "It is one of the darkest chapters of European history, yet knowledge of what took place is still low. It is crucial we all learn the lessons from this stain on humanity's conscience. "Hatred can destroy communities and divide families, friends and neighbours. I am delighted that Robert has agreed to join the board and help us work towards creating a better, and stronger, safer society for everyone in Scotland."

The Edinburgh Evening News has published an article which reflects on Margaret Thatcher and her appearance at the General Assembly in 1988.

The Chartered Accountants professional body ICAS has posted a story to its front page on the appointment of Anne Macintosh as General Treasurer to the Church.

The Guardian had a story about the fallout from one alcohol fuelled Saturday night on emergency services across the UK. The Edinburgh story focuses on the Street Pastors.  The Ascension Trust's Street Pastors are one of the Guild's six supported projects for 2015-2018. Edinburgh Street Pastors have been awarded a £45,000 Go For It Main Grant to help them recruit and train volunteers.

At Greenside parish church on Royal Terrace, in the centre of Edinburgh, the city's Street Pastors are preparing for the night with tea, home baking and a rousing hymn or two.

Street Pastors is an initiative of the Ascension Trust and was pioneered in London in 2013. It is now active in 270 towns and cities across the UK.

Street Pastors are volunteers from local churches who patrol in teams of men and women, usually from 10pm to 4am on a Friday and Saturday night, to care for, listen to and help people who out on the streets, whether celebrating on a hen night or homeless.

Wednesday 27 January, 2016

St Andrew's Scots Kirk in Newcastle was featured on Premier Christian Radio's Inspirational Breakfast show on Monday 25 Jan. Correspondent Ian Britton discussed poet Robert Burns at the Church's Burns supper. (1:50:45)

Martin Hannan writes about Margaret Thatcher in The Edinburgh Evening News, arguing that Mrs Thatcher's speech to the General Assembly of 1988 showed she was out of touch with the Scottish people. He says Thatcher quoted from St Paul saying, "If a man will not work he shall not eat."

"The woman had almost single-handedly destroyed much of Scotland's heavy manufacturing industries not to mention the Scottish coal industry, with her economic policies that made efficiency her God….how do you get wealth when you don't have a job." (print p19)

The Press and Journal reports that a former church in Sutherland, now a museum , has received a £7,000 grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund to help it tell the story of the Highland Clearances.

"The main story told by the Strathnaver Museum is the story of the Clearances and the museum building is itself an important piece in this story. It was from the pulpit which still dominates the main room that Rev David Mackenzie was obliged to read out eviction notices to his congregation during the Strathnaver Clearances between 1814-1819"

The success of the Church's online Advent campaign has been followed up with an email newsletter sent out to more than 2,000 people who signed up to receive further information from the Church. In the first 24 hours, the newsletter was opened by more than 55% of those who received it and 33% have clicked through to the website articles. The most clicked on item has been the story about the church organist playing a tribute to David Bowie, followed by the latest Tomorrow's Calling video which features Rev David McNeish in Orkney. You can read the newsletter here and the link to sign up is here.

Tuesday 26 January, 2016

The Journal of the Law Societyreports that Ms Mary McLeod has been appointed as the new Solicitor of the Church and Law Agent of the General Assembly.

The Scotsmanreports on a new Tomorrow's Calling video that portrays life as a minister in Orkney.  The story focuses on Rev David McNeish's discussion of mental illness. It reads - "A former hospital doctor who retrained as a Church of Scotland minister has spoken of his fight against mental illness to fight the stigma attached to the illness." 

The Orcadian has also published the story and uploaded the video. 

A website called has promoted the Church's video on its social media channels.

The Aberdeen Evening Express has published an article about a fire that broke out in a Church in Inverurie.

The Paisley Daily Express has published an article about a Kirk minister who has said he always tries to support local shops. Jonathan Fleming of Erskine Parish Church said he was willing to pay more to ensure they remain open. (print only)

Panorama Gibraltar has published an article about traditional marriage which mentions the Church of Scotland. 

Time Out London has mentioned the Kirk in its round-up of 14 places in London with Scottish roots.