Our top 10 stories from 2021

As the second year impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic comes to a close, we look back on some of our most popular stories that have filled us with hope and joy during these difficult times.

Sunflower field of hope
Visitors enjoying a day out at the 'Field of Hope' - a fundraising community project spearheaded by East Neuk Trinity Church linked with St Monans.

From raising our voices on caring for creation during this year's COP26 events to looking after the most vulnerable in our communities; congregations across the Church of Scotland have rallied together to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom, share in the joy of new believers, respond to human need through loving service, challenge unfairness and violence in society and generate substantial sums of money for charity in the process.

Our top stories

  1. Pioneer minister called to serve the veterinary community
    The Church of Scotland called its first ever dedicated minister for the veterinary community, Rev Allan Wright, who is a working vet himself. He hopes to be the social and spiritual glue that binds together people who work in clinical practice in the north-east of England.
  2. Kirk a step closer to blessing same-sex marriages
    Commissioners at this year's General Assembly approved draft legislation which brings the Kirk a step closer to allowing ministers of Word and Sacrament and deacons to marry same-sex couples if they wish.
  3. All Aboard – Moderator takes the helm of canal boat and sets sail
    Lord Wallace took the helm of a new canal boat part-owned by Polwarth Parish Church in Edinburgh. Lord Wallace piloted the ‘All Aboard' down a stretch of the Union Canal during a visit to learn more about how the church is using the vessel for community outreach work.
  4. The Duke of Cambridge visits Kirk-supported charities in Edinburgh
    During a week-long visit to Scotland, in his role as Lord High Commissioner to the Church of Scotland's General Assembly, Prince William spent time visiting a CrossReach care home, Queen's Bay Lodge, and the Grassmarket Community Project in Edinburgh.
  5. Church of Scotland Investors Trust announces disinvestment from oil and gas
    After years of passionate debate, the General Assembly heard that the Investors Trust of the Church of Scotland has disposed of all its oil and gas shares, completing a switch over two years into sectors with better investment prospects.
  6. 'Wonderful' news as Guild project fundraising surpasses £638,000
    The Church of Scotland Guild announced that members raised more than £638,000 throughout the 2018-2021 fundraising cycle, which was shared between their designated projects.
  7. Harry, 81, completes epic cycle to raise £9,000 for Bothwell church
    Harry Marsh, a church elder, raised £9,000 after completing a virtual bike ride between Land's End and John O'Groats. Harry pedalled for a total of 62 hours in his garage to complete the 951-mile route which saw him hitting speeds of up to 40mph on downhill stretches.
  8. Kirk announces winners of photography competition — ‘Hidden in Plain Sight'
    To mark the start of Lent, former Moderator Very Rev Dr Martin Fair launched a photo competition, with both children and adults alike invited to send in their photographs showing the Cross in our everyday surroundings. The winner in each category was awarded a gift to the charity of their choice.
  9. ‘Field of Hope' raise £6,500 for good causes in Fife
    A Fife church spearheaded a community project featuring hundreds of thousands of sunflowers and raised more than £6,500 for good causes. The money raised went on to benefit 15 local charities and groups and was generated through donations from visitors to the ‘Field of Hope' on the banks of the Firth of Forth over three weekends in September.
  10. Church of Scotland marks COP26 weekend with special services and activism
    Church of Scotland congregations across the country took part in COP26 activities, including joining in the day of mass mobilisation and hosting an ecumenical service at Glasgow Cathedral with participants from all around the world.

Our top social media posts

  1. Rev Ruth Morrison takes up her new role as minister of St Mary's Church of Scotland in Kirkintilloch
  2. Church of Scotland members and ministers sing up a storm with Noah sea shanty
  3. Lord Wallace is installed as Moderator in the presence of His Grace, Lord High Commissioner, The Earl of Strathearn Prince William
  4. Lest We Forget
  5. A stunning new piece of public artwork unveiled at a Glasgow church
  6. Moderator offers condolences on the death of HRH Prince Philip
  7. Rev Dr George Whyte celebrates 40 years since his ordination
  8. A round-up of photos from Kirk congregations marking COP26
  9. Teenage orphan told he can stay in Scotland permanently
  10. Rev Drew Gebbie and Rev Katherine Taylor inducted and ordained into the Church of Scotland

If you have been following our Advent calendar during the month of December we would love to hear from you. What did you enjoy the most and is there anything that you'd particularly like to see more of next year? Tell us what you thought of our selection of stories, reflections, prayers and music by emailing us at mediarelations@churchofscotland.org.uk

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.

From all of us in the Church of Scotland Communications Department it has been our privilege to share the Good News with you for another year, and we hope you have enjoyed the rich array of stories and updates from across the Kirk. We wish you a very Happy New Year and every blessing for 2022.