Church in the news

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

Monday 30 November, 2015

The Tomorrow's Calling campaign is getting attention across the board in national newspapers, online and on broadcast channels.

BBC online reports: "The Church of Scotland is welcoming its largest number of trainee ministers in five years, with 27 new candidates accepted for training so far this year.

"With further applicants due for assessment next month, it could be the largest intake for 10 years.

"The Kirk expects hundreds of ministers to retire in the next 10 years.

"We're no different to other professions facing up to retirement challenges, like GPs and teachers" said Rev Neil Glover.

"Rev Glover, the convener of the Church's Ministries Council, said that although the Church had been "slow to get to grips with the scale of the problem", it was now a "top priority".

"We currently have just over 800 ministers, and more than 400 of them are aged 55 or over," he said.

"Ministers tend to work a bit beyond the normal pension age, but we now need to recruit 30 new trainees every year.

"With around 10 ministers usually returning to parish ministry or joining us each year we will be able to continue serving our parishes." BBC Online's story is here.

BBCs Good Morning Scotland also ran a segment on the call for ministers, interviewing trainee minister Louise Purden and her father Rev John McPake. (2:48) Listen to Good Morning Scotland's interview with Louise Purden and rev John McPake here.

STV Online covers the story headlined, 'Church of Scotland welcomes large number of trainee ministers'.

The Times reports: 'Kirk Calling for new ministers as it faces a retirement crisis'. (print)

The Press and Journal's story, 'Kirk welcomes trainee ministers,' adds a big photo of 25-year-old trainee minister Andrew Kimmitt. Andrew, who is a studying at Aberdeen University, says: "I am not sure I ever thought I would do anything else. It is about spreading the message of the Christian faith, but it is also about people and caring for them." (print p16)

The Press and Journal also carry the Press Association story online: 'Church of Scotland welcomes trainees as ministers reach retirement age.'

The Herald reports that 'Church starts online bid to tackle problem of retiring ministers.' (print p7) The Herald's online story allows you to see three different photos of trainee minister Louise Purden and her father Rev John McPake.

The Scottish Daily Mail reports, 'Daughter of the manse joins the booming Kirk ministry,' saying:

"The Church of Scotland is welcoming its largest number of trainee ministers in five years, as it anticipates hundreds of retirements in the next decade.

"The Kirk has so far accepted 27 new candidates for training this year and with further applicants due for assessment next month, it could even be the largest intake for ten years, officials said." (print p22)

The Sun (print p4) and The Daily Record (p21) carry news briefs on the Church's rise in trainee ministers.

The Evening News story is headlined, 'Heavenly Father Like Daughter.'(print p9)

The Scotsman reports on the Tomorrow's Calling campaign in its story: 'Kirk welcomes highest number of trainees in 5 years.'

The Independent story is headlined, 'Church signs up record number of ministers.' (print p7)

The Edinburgh News covers the story with the headline, 'Louise follows in dad's footsteps as trainee minister.'

The National covers the story in print. (p6)

View a video of Louise Purden and Rev John McPake and read our own story on The Church of Scotland's website.

The Paisley Daily Express reports in the Church's Advent calendar, saying 'Kirk's Online Advent Calendar is a Christmas hit.' (print p)

BBC Radio Scotland also devoted a 1m 3secs segment to the Online Advent Calendar, saying, 'The Church of Scotland is hoping a new online advent calendar will inspire people to sign up for a life of ministry.'

The Scotsman also reported Saturday on the forthcoming discussion at next May's General Assembly of the Church's investments in fossil fuel industries. The story, 'Pressure on Kirk to sell fossil fuel shares,' says:

"The Church of Scotland has started discussions about selling its substantial shares in multinational fossil fuel companies, including Shell and BP.

"The move, kickstarted after discontent from Fife youth members, could see divestment from companies including Royal Dutch Shell, one of its top ten investment portfolios in which it has shares valued at £7.7 million." (print 29 Nov. p15)

Deadline News picks up the story, headlining it, 'Church of Scotland faces youth insurrection over investments.'

"Fife youth members of the Church of Scotland (COS) kicked off a campaign after discovering that the church holds shares in companies making cash from oil. The church currently manages an investment portfolio of £7.7m in a range of companies including Royal Dutch Shell, which has faced fierce criticism from environmental activists.

"Now – after a sustained campaign from two youth members – the church has announced that it will reconsider its investment policy at the next general assembly.

"The church already has a policy of ethical investment – which includes avoiding investment in arms, tobacco, alcohol and gambling." Deadline news reports on divestment question.

The Press and Journal reports that a CrossReach residential home has been named joint winner of the Care Home of the Year award. (print)

"The Church of Scotland's residential home, Balmedie House, was crowned joint winner of the Care Home of the Year Award at the Scottish Care Awards in Glasgow." (print)

Church members were among thousands who gathered for Scotland's climate justice march in Edinburgh Saturday. The march and the upcoming UN climate summit in Paris are making international headlines.

The Scotsmancovers Scotland's climate justice march here.

The Herald reports on Scotland's climate justice march here.

Friday 27 November, 2015

The National writes about the prime minister's call for Britain to join France Russia and others in bombing regions of Syria under control of the Islamic State terrorist group. The story, "PM's claim of no significant civilian casualties is 'idiotic', expert warns," quotes rev Sally Foster-Fulton:

The Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, said dialogue and humanitarian support were needed in Syria.

"The barbarity of what has happened on the streets of Paris has been happening in Beirut, Mali and Raqqa for a long time and together we must discern how it can be stopped.

"We have to find ways to listen to the grievances of our enemies, to provide humanitarian support and aid and build friendships where those currently seem to be impossible.

"We can do that in our own communities as well as globally." Read The National's story here .

The Hamilton Advertiser has published a story about Lanarkshire Befriending projects, which are thriving thanks, in part, to support from the Go For It Fund.

"Lanarkshire volunteers who enrich the lives of older people who feel isolated in their own homes have been applauded for their efforts in the Scottish Parliament.

"Cross-party MSPs have signed a motion which recognises the "inspirational" work of the Befriend

"Motherwell and Befriend in Bellshill projects, which have received £37,500 and £36,890 from the Church of Scotland's Go For It Fund respectively.

"Lonely people who benefit from the service in Motherwell, run by Dalziel St Andrews Parish Church, are invited to go for coffee, browse a garden centre and attend a social event to increase their confidence and mobility." (print)

The Linlithgow Gazette reports that Boys Brigades all over Scotland are raising funds to help the world's poorest children. Their story, "Boys Brigade put best foot forward," includes a photo of the Moderator accepting a cheque for £10,000 to support an anti-bullying campaign in the Caribbean.

"Members of the Boys' Brigade launched a scheme to help their peers from the poorest backgrounds across the world.

"As part of the charity launch, a cheque for £10,000 was handed over which will go towards an anti-bullying campaign in the Caribbean, raised by BB members all over Scotland, at Queensferry Parish Church.

"A new fundraising initiative aims to provide uniforms to members of the Boys' Brigade in Kenya as part of the BB World Mission Fund…" Read the rest of the Boys Brigade story from the Linlithgow Gazette here. Read the Linlithgow Gazette's Boys Brigade story here.

The Daily Record reports that Pitlochry will hold a Christmas Festival 28 Nov. that will include a Christmas Tree display in the Church of Scotland. Christmas festival in Pitlochry.

Rochdale News online reports that the Church of Scotland is one of four churches to, "welcome the Government's commitment to limiting climate change and to call for more to be done to keep global warming below 2°C.

"Leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church issued a statement today in the lead up to the COP21 summit in Paris.

"Next week representatives from more than 190 nations will gather in Paris from November 30 - December 11 with the aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change to keep global warming below 2°C."

"Over the past year, churches, charities and agencies have prayed, fasted and marched in solidarity for climate justice." read the Rochdale News story on Churches and climate change.

The Scotsman reports on a public meeting held in Clachan, Wester Ross, will look at how to save a historic kirk.

"Lochbroom Parish Church at Clachan, which has been the site of worship for 800 years has fallen into disrepair." (print p12)

Thursday 26 November, 2015

The Sale and Altringham Messenger publishes a Thoughtfor the Week by Ruth and Keith Neal of All Churches Together. The couple writesabout a talk on peace and hope delivered last year by the Very Rev JohnChalmers. (print p10)

A Paisley Daily Express article on actor DavidTennant mentions he is the son of former Church of Scotland General AssemblyModerator, the Very Rev. Sandy McDonald. (print p10)

Third Force News reports on the Moderator's supportfor the anti-bigotry campaign, Nil by Mouth. View the Third Force News story here.

"Rev Dr Angus Morrison gave his seal of approval to Nil byMouth's Kiss Bigotry Goodbye campaign while taking in the recent Cowdenbeathversus Dunfermline match at Central Park.

"Rev Morrison showed his support by posing for a photographwith fellow Church of Scotland minister and journalist Ron Ferguson andCowdenbeath mascot Bluebell.

"The campaign calls on people to take photographs at gamesshowing what they love about football and sharing them on social media."

Wednesday 25 November, 2015

BBC's Newsnight produced an 8 minute segment on climate change and the Paris summit that shows why we can be hopeful that our actions will help. When you have 8 minutes to spare Newsnight's Climate Change report is well worth watching.

The Courier's story 'Defiant campaigner goes ahead with eco message' reports on Rachel Walker, who is heading to Paris this week with the climate baton. Rachel is one of two representatives from the Church of Scotland National Youth Assembly. Rachel and fellow youth rep Duncan Logie will travel by train with Church of Scotland climate change officer Adrian Shaw, courtesy of Virgin. (print p15)

The Courier also covered a group of 31 pupils from Perth High who narrowly missed being locked down in Brussels after visiting the day before. The paper quotes Brussels-based Church of Scotland minister rev Andrew Gardener, formerly of the High Kirk in Dundee, saying the security crisis had stopped him from holding Sunday service.

"It made no sense to gather people together for Christian worship, when public gatherings were being discouraged, public transport disrupted and those coming into city were feeling anxious.

"It was a strange Sunday." (print p15)

Jim Holland, the editor of the Carluke Gazette, writes about the Paris terror attacks and quotes the Moderator saying,

"Rev. Dr Angus Morrison, said it was 'impossible to comprehend the mindset that leads people to perpetrate such indiscriminate barbarity against their fellow human beings.'

"In a poignant tribute the moderator said: 'My heart - and I speak for us all in the Church of Scotland - goes out in deepest sympathy to all who have lost family members and friends and to those who have been injured in this atrocity.'

"Sentiments shared by the vast majority of people the length and breadth of the country and beyond." (print p20)

The editorial also appears in the Kirkintilloch Herald, and the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald.

The East Lothian News reports that a site in Aberlady owned by the Church of Scotland will bring the area's Anglo-Saxon past to life.

"The rich array of metal finds from the field, including the largest concentration of Anglo-Saxon objects yet discovered in Scotland, suggest that Aberlady was an important location in the Kingdom of Northumbria between the 7th and 10th centuries and before the kingdoms of Scotland and England had been formed."

The story quotes Ian Malcolm of Aberlady Conservation and History Society saying,

"Our sincere thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the other grant funding bodies, to the Church of Scotland General Trustees and Agricultural Management Haddington Ltd as landowner and tenant respectively and to the local community groups and schools for making this exciting project happen."

The Fife Herald publishes an editorial criticising a Falkland minister after he held a Remembrance Day service in Church not at a newly erected War Memorial.

"Understandably proud of their collective history and new war memorial, it is only right that they be allowed to lay wreaths and be part of a service at that location," the paper writes before acknowledging they had not spoken to the minister so did not have the full story. (print p26)

The Southern Reporter writes that the discovery of some WWI medals led to uncovering the story of Mary Lee Milne, who left behind photographs and journals.

"In August 1916, Mary, then aged 43, a recently widowed Church of Scotland minister's wife, left her home in Selkirk and sailed from Liverpool on board the Huntspill, bound for Southern Russia with the Scottish Women's Hospital (SWH).

"She is listed as the unit's head cook and travelled with 75 women led by the famous Dr Elsie Inglis. Through their research, museum staff discovered that for the next two years, Mary would serve as a cook and housekeeper with the SWH in Russia, Romania and France. She worked closely with the charismatic SWH founder, Dr Inglis and was one of only six women who stayed with Dr Inglis for the entirety of her final 15-month tour of duty."

The story also appears in the Hawick News.

In its story, 'Linked churches aim to give strength and support to each other', The Northern Times reports:

"The Church of Scotland charge of Kincardine, Croick and Edderton, linked with Creich linked with Rosehall, spans a huge territorial parish area.

Each attractive historical place of worship is a focal point for the villages. Worship takes place regularly at 10.30am at Creich Parish Church in Bonar Bridge, and noon at Rosehall Parish Church." (print p19)

The Milngavie and Bearsden Herald reports on events in Bearsden Cross church, including a Phoenix Circle talk: "Hollywood – a Presbyterian Perspective" from Kathleen MacPherson The story includes a plug for the Speak Out campaign.

"As you leave church do take a 'Speak Out' card and join in the Church of Scotland campaign to find out how church members of all ages would like life in Scotland to change by 2035." (print p29)