20 most popular stories of 2014

Pastor Mike Smith, Derek McLennan, Rev Dr David Bartholomew, inset Carolingian pot

It's been another remarkable year for the Church of Scotland. Here's our top 20 most popular stories from 2014.

1. Spectacular Viking treasure hoard found on Church land
In October, it was announced that a hoard of Viking treasure described as the largest found in modern times has been discovered on land owned by the Church of Scotland. The images shared on the Church of Scotland's twitter and Facebook accounts were met with unprecedented popularity.

2. Collective voice of Church called for with Dove of Peace campaign
In August the Moderator of the General Assembly urged congregations across Scotland to display their collective desire for world peace through an innovative doves of peace campaign.

3. Church of Scotland chooses new Moderator Designate
In April Rev John Chalmers was chosen as Moderator Designate to take office at the 2014 General Assembly following the retiral of Rev Dr Angus Morrison due to ill health.

4. Kirk's 25-year-old minister amongst the youngest to be ordained
In January Rev Michael Mair became the youngest minister in Scotland to be ordained aged 25.

5. Proposal for ministers in civil partnerships goes forward
In May, the General Assembly voted in favour of a proposal which could eventually lead to the ordination of ministers in civil partnerships. Following a lengthy debate which examined the legal and theological implications of the proposal, commissioners voted by 369 for, and 189 against.

6. Congregation declines to follow minister to Free Church
In February we announced that a minister, who last year revealed plans to join the Free Church, had been unsuccessful in an attempt to persuade the majority of his congregation to join him.

7. Dundee church reborn following painful chapter
In April, The Session Clerk of Logie and St John's in Dundee provided a unique insight into this experience of having some congregation leave over same-sex marriage and gay ordination in the hope that it would help and encourage others who may find themselves in similar situations.

8. Moderator-Designate withdraws due to ill health
In March it was announced that Rev Dr Angus Morrison had to withdraw from the role of Moderator-Designate due to ill health. But, as we know, he is back and ready to become Moderator of the General Assembly next May.

9. Minister attending General Assembly in Edinburgh killed in road accident
Rev Tom Sinclair, a commissioner at the General Assembly in May, was killed in a road traffic accident Waverley Bridge walking across the entrance road to Waverley station the day before the Assembly began.

10. Details on service of unity at St Giles announced
In September there was great interest in the service of unity and common purpose held at St Giles following the Scottish independence referendum.

11. Queen recognises Church's healing role
The press coverage for the opening day of the General Assembly went through the roof when a message from The Queen was read out praising the Church for its healing role in society, ahead of the Scottish referendum.

12. Moderator of Lochcarron and Skye hits back at critical headlines
In September, the Moderator of the Presbytery of Lochcarron and Skye spoke out after two ministers announced their intention to leave the Church of Scotland.

13. St Giles' appoints new minister for first time in 40 years
In July, one of Scotland's most iconic cathedrals, St Giles' in Edinburgh, appointed a new minister for the first time in 40 years.

14. BBC Alba looks at the role of the minister's wife
In January traditional preconceptions of ministers' wives were shattered when a new six-part series on BBC ALBA aired.

15. Moderator expands on his vision for reconciliation after the referendum
In September the Moderator of the General Assembly explained his thoughts on how the landscape in Scotland after the historic vote.

16. Church puts faith in Scotland after final independence dialogue
12 days before the referendum, the Church hosted as respectful dialogue with figures from both sides of the debate. The Moderator of the General Assembly said the debate demonstrated that people from both sides can work together for the betterment of the nation.

17. Kinross-shire minister returns as Moderator Designate
As mentioned, Rev Dr Angus Morrison recovered from ill health to return as Moderator Designate of the General Assembly. It was announced in October.

18. Church of Scotland holds referendum service of unity
Political figures from both sides of the Scottish independence debate gathered at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh for a special church service to promote unity in the wake of the referendum.

19. Statement on congregation departure in Tarbert
In September the Church of Scotland issued a statement in response to the departure of some of the congregation at Tarbert Church in Harris.

20. Huge demand for new Church of Scotland learning initiative
In October, a new book exploring what it means to be an elder in the Church of Scotland sold out of its initial print run before it had even been published.