Church in the news

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

Monday 29 June, 2015

The tragic deaths of British tourists in Tunisia became very personal for church members in Cumbernauld when they discovered that Ann and Jim McQuire were among those killed. When the news surfaced journalists converged on Cumbernauld and on Abronhill Church where the couple were congregation members.

Seonag Mackinnon, head of communications, spent much of Sunday in Cumbernauld, supporting minister Joyce Keyes, and session clerk Linda Grey, handling calls and providing press support to the media. Joyce offered to act as a media spokesperson as a small service to the family who otherwise might receive the bulk of press attention. The communications office takes on this support work to alleviate what can be a difficult situation for everyone involved, and to help take pressure off grieving relatives.

Rt Rev Angus Morrison released a statement which will be posted to our website today.

Papers, television and radio all carried tributes by survivors:

The Daily Telegraph's story quoted Rev Joyce Keyes of Abrohnill Church:

"Mr McQuire, 66, was a former marine engineer who worked in the shipyards and was a captain with his local Boys' Brigade troop for a number of years. He had been due to attend a Royal Garden Party in Edinburgh on his return.

His 63-year-old wife worked as a receptionist at Craigmarloch Medical Centre in Cumbernauld before retiring last year. Their grief-stricken son Stuart, 32, confirmed to the Scottish Mail on Sunday that they had died but was too upset to speak when approached by reporters later.

Relatives of the couple had told the local minister that authorities were "99.9 per cent sure" they were dead, although official Foreign Office confirmation had not been received.

Prayers were said in tribute to them as the congregation of Abronhill Parish Church gathered on Sunday morning. The couple had talked about their Tunisian holiday when they attended the Sunday service before they left.

Reverend Joyce Keyes, the minister, she said she knew them "very well", adding: "I don't think I can make any sense of it at all. My feeling is of numbness. They were regular holiday goers since their retirement and were really looking forward to it."

BBC news ( online story ) and STV news are covering the story in their news broadcasts.

The Daily Mail:

The DailyExpress:

The Sun:

The Herald: (paywall)

The Mirror:

The Scotsman:

The Daily Record:

The National:

Sky online:

The Scotsman also carries an obituary for Norman Marr, a church elder and organist at Denburn church.

"Much of his active private life centred on his church, Gilcomston St Colms, known from 1976 as Denburn. As organist, choirmaster, elder and property convener, he played a full part in the life of the church, as well as serving on Church of Scotland committees. As choirmaster, he presided with characteristic charisma over a large group of singers. A hilarious mimic, he would address them, as he was wont, in a mixture of English and Scots to their undoubted amusement and once startled an elderly soprano by quoting an expression of his grandmother's: "I'll tak doon yir breeks and scone yir doke."

The Scotsman's Dani Garavelli writes about post-natal depression and how CrossReach counselling service is helping sufferers heal.

Reverend John Orr's talk on the church around the world was reported in Forfar Today: the Kirriemuir Herald:

Friday 26 June, 2015

A prayer team from South Korea has landed in Stornoway on a mission to help bring continued success for Scotland's national church.

God, not liberalism will save the Kirk – this is the view expressed by Rev Dr Robert Anderson in today's Herald. (paywall)

'Inverness kirks halt gay minister legal action temporarily' – the headline in the Highland News as news breaks of an attempt by Inverness Presbytery's doctrine and worship committee to push for legal action in the civil courts following the Assembly's decision in May to approve individual congregations' appointments of ministers and office bearers in civil partnerships.

Thursday 25 June, 2015

The Scotsman has a piece providing historical insight into the Kirk's support for drama within the education system. "Theatrical performance had a long-established role in an education that aimed to produce good public speakers, with the rhetorical skills necessary for careers in law, the church, and the other professions."

Third Force News has a feature on the CrossReach call for more resources to support mothers with Postnatal Depression:

Tuesday 23 June, 2015

There's widespread coverage today of the 19 new recruits to ministry following the recent assessment conferences, and the hope this year's intake could be the largest for some time. The Scotsman leads the way with a picture of one of the new trainee ministers, David Nicolson, his wife Victoria and their son Finlay. The story is also featured in the Press and Journal , Daily Express, The Herald, The Sun, the Stornoway Gazette, and Life & Work

The Scotsman print edition also carries a separate article 'Facebook video a worldwide hit in recruitment drive for ministers'. It reports more than 55,000 people viewed the 'Tomorrow's Calling' video online in the first 3 weeks. You can see the video and find out more here

Life after the congregation split at St Catherine's Argyle in Edinburgh is reflected on by locum minister, Rev Jane Howitt. She says the experience has led to new friendships and deeper relationships, with many more members of the congregation now taking a practical role in worship.You can read her thoughts and watch her short video on the Church website here