Our top 10 stories from 2018
Published on 31 December, 2018
2018 has been another busy year for the Church of Scotland, with the Communications Team sharing an abundance of news stories – 370 to be exact - from across our churches and partner organisations.
From a new minister traveling 4,500 miles from Texas to join us, to celebrating the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People 2018 with an array of creative and inspiring events, there have been some incredible moments from the past year.
Here, we have put together a list of your most-read stories and Facebook posts.
Our top news stories
- Regret over Presbyterian Church of Ireland’s decision to break ties with the Church of ScotlandThe Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland expressed her sadness at the decision from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) to sever formal ties with its sister church in Scotland.
- The countdown begins to Advent
God's gift to us, the Greatest Gift, was the theme of the Church of Scotland's 2018 Advent calendar. Throughout the season, we brought you stories highlighting how church members around the country celebrated the birth of Jesus and shared their faith, hope and love with everyone in their communities.
- Strangers attend community funeral for asylum seeker
Strangers attended a funeral for an asylum seeker whose death left her 10-year-old son an orphan and facing an uncertain future. The Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church in Glasgow arranged a Georgian Orthodox Church style-service to enable the boy and his family to grieve and say goodbye.
- Charity co-founder appointed chaplain to the Queen
An Edinburgh minister, Rev Liz Henderson, who co-founded a children’s bereavement charity was appointed as a Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen.
- Church a step closer to conducting same sex marriages
The Kirk moved a step closer to allowing some ministers and deacons to conduct same-sex marriages in the future. The General Assembly voted 345 by 170 to instruct the Legal Questions Committee to prepare legislation with safeguards in accordance with Section 9 (1A) of the Marriage Scotland Act.
- Warm tributes to trailblazing Kirk minister
Tributes were paid to the Church of Scotland’s first ever Hub Ministries co-ordinator, Rev Catriona Hood, who sadly died in October.
- Devastation as council budget cuts signal end of North Lanarkshire church
A “lifeline” church in North Lanarkshire was forced to close down due to local authority budget cuts. Cumbernauld Old Parish Church operated a Sunday worship hub at the Forge Community Centre in the Balloch area of the town for 31 years but it shut down on 1 October.
- A seven year wait is over – new minister for Highland church
A woman who helped hardened gang members in California turn their lives around was appointed to lead a Highland church. Heidi Hercus was ordained and inducted as the minister of Lochbroom and Ullapool Church - a move that ended a seven-year vacancy.
- Minister to officially open Pride event
Rev Scott Burton made history in August when he became the first Church of Scotland minister to officially open a festival that celebrates LGBT rights. Mr Burton said it was an "incredible honour" to play a key role in the inaugural Perthshire Pride event in Perth.
- Rev Colin Sinclair is Moderator Designate for 2019-20
A Stirling University economics graduate who spent three years living out of a car in Zambia was chosen to be Moderator of the Church of Scotland's General Assembly for 2019.
Our top Facebook stories
- Video: St Cuthbert’s Church in Edinburgh launched a weekly games café for homeless people
- Photo: Celebrating 50 years of the ordination of women
- Video: Special procession celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament
- Video: STV News interviewed 101-year-old Janie Stewart about a special Roll of Honour book which includes three of her cousins and two uncles who fought during the First World War. They all survived and came home to Carluke in South Lanarkshire. Janie belongs to Kirkton Church in the town, as did her relatives. Minister, Rev Iain Cunningham, was also interviewed about the significance of the book and Carluke’s very special place in Scottish history
- Rev Scott Burton opens Perthshire’s first ever Pride event - “Love changes the world for the better and I hope and I pray that Perthshire’s first ever Pride event is going to be a day of love, not hate”
- Video: Saltyard, a brilliant expression of Church on the street in Edinburgh. Right Rev Susan Brown, Moderator of the General Assembly, paid a visit and was very impressed. Saltyard is run by Gorgie Dalry Stenhouse Church of Scotland
- Heavenly isle seeks new minister. “We seek a minister who finds that their heart resonates with this island and this community; who can meet us where we are and help guide us towards where we should be; who can "be Christ" in this place to people who need His love.”
- Video: Forcing an asylum seeking family to live in limbo for six years is “cruel”. Rt Rev Susan Brown, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, urged the Home Office to grant asylum to Somer and Areeb Umeed Bakhsh. The boys and their parents are facing possible deportation back to Pakistan where their lives could be in danger at the hands of Islamic extremists. Friends of the boy’s father have been murdered because of their Christian faith.
Remember – we are always on the look-out for stories from across our churches. If you would like to get in touch with one of the team, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or find our individual contact details on our Media Centre page.
From all of us in the Church of Scotland Communications Team, we wish you a very Happy New Year.