News from The Church of Scotland

08 Feb 2024

Updated 8 February

Well Wishes for the King: The Moderator, Rt. Revd. Sally Foster-Fulton said this week "We are extremely sad to hear that His Majesty King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer. This is a diagnosis that many face in their lifetime and which is always shocking news to receive. We assure the King of our prayers as he undergoes treatment and wish him well for a speedy recovery. We remember too Her Majesty the Queen and other members of The Royal Family in our prayers during this difficult time."

Racial Justice Sunday: Rt. Revd. Sally Foster-Fulton, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, spoke this week ahead of Racial Justice Sunday on 11 February, which provides churches across the UK the opportunity to lament the reality of racism in society and commit to try and help end it. She said that those who used hostile or dehumanising language towards asylum seekers and refugees "diminished humanity" and we all have a responsibility to "create a world where every person is treated with dignity and respect". Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have put together a resource called Exodus which contains prayers and creative ideas for Racial Justice Sunday.

On-line Courses: New courses aimed at encouraging people to explore their faith as well as supporting local church office holders in their roles have been added to the Church of Scotland Learning platform. The latest modules added to the site explore becoming an elder, becoming a session clerk, growing as a leader, exploring your calling and spiritual gifts, and funeral ministry.

Updated 25 January

New Ecumenical Visit to Women in Custody: The Moderator of the General Assembly and a Catholic Archbishop visited the country's national facility for women in custody last week. Rt Rev Sally Foster-Fulton and Most Rev Leo Cushley, Roman Catholic Archbishop and Metropolitan of St Andrews and Edinburgh, were welcomed to HMP & YOI Stirling. The ecumenical visit also gave the Moderator and the Archbishop the opportunity to see the prison chaplaincy service, which offers spiritual and pastoral support and guidance to those in custody of all faiths and none.

Updated 18 January

New Presbytery: The new presbytery of Clèir Eilean Ì – Gaelic for the Presbytery of the Island of Iona – held its first meeting online last week, bringing together ministers, elders and others across an area covering almost half of Scotland, stretching from the tip of Argyll to John O'Groats and from the Western Isles to Moray. It brings together nine former presbytery areas as part of the broader reorganisation of the Church to create a more sustainable Kirk and lay the foundations for future growth. The larger presbytery allows for full-time support staff for the first time, to help spread the Good News of Jesus. Revd. Doug McRoberts, who was confirmed as Clèir Eilean Ì's first moderator at its inaugural session, believes this will make a big difference to the Kirk across the region.

Updated 11 January

Loony Dook: The Moderator, the Rt Revd. Sally Foster-Fulton, along with Principal Clerk to the General Assembly, the Revd. Fiona Smith, took part in the annual Loony Dook in the Tay at Broughty Ferry on 1st of January to raise funds for Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal.

Mrs Foster-Fulton said: “The water was freezing but what fun we had – and it was amazing to see so many people taking the plunge on New Year’s Day for different good causes. Fiona and I were keen to raise money for Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal, which is raising awareness of the challenges facing young women living in extreme poverty in Bangladesh. A huge thank you to everyone who supported us and it’s still not too late to get us above the £4000 mark!” You can donate to the appeal at Justgiving

Updated 4 January 2024

Moderator Reflects on Epiphany: Rt. Revd. Sally Foster-Fulton, reflected on Epiphany season at: https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/news-and-events/news/articles/light-to-the-world-church-moderator-reflects-on-the-season-of-epiphany.

Here is some of what she said:

‘Strange that when we are in the time of deepest darkness, we begin to celebrate the light. January 6th marks Epiphany, the visit of the Wise Ones who followed the starshine. We hold wisdom and light together, a beautiful synthesis of imagery! Epiphany – the coming of the light into the darkness. Epiphany – the coming of wisdom into our most fear-filled, narrowminded and hard-hearted spaces. And poignant, that as we see around us so much pain, we hold to the promise. As we walk into 2024, let the Prince of Peace lead us.’ 

Updated 7 December

Moderator Launches Season of Advent with a YouTube video. Rt. Revd. Sally Foster-Fulton said the time of waiting has begun until we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. She said nothing is impossible with God and encouraged people to believe and live with that truth.

Updated 30 November

Moderator in Guernsey: The Moderator preached at St. Andrew's in the Grange, Guernsey last Sunday. St. Andrew’s is part of the Church of Scotland's Presbytery of England and the Channel Islands.

London Week: The Moderator Rt Rev. Sally Foster-Fulton has been in London this week, meeting with a wide range of religious, political and charity leaders. The Moderator said, "The Church is committed to fostering unity, be that between faiths, denominations, or political parties, as part of our duty as Christians spreading the message of love." Highlights have included a day spent with the Catholic Bishops of Scotland in recognition of the one-year anniversary of the Saint Margaret Declaration between the two churches. Charity contacts have included with Christian Aid, Scotscare (a charity supporting Scots in London) and a focus on international aid for South Sudan, visited by last year's Moderator, Iain Greenshields.This Sunday the Moderator will be preaching at the Church of Scotland's church in Guernsey.