I am concerned that Rev Scott McKenna (pictured left) misrepresented the position of the Church of Scotland in relation to assisted suicide (Church of Scotland minister joins fight for right to die, News, November 4).
In a recent speech to the pro-assisted suicide conference, Rev McKenna subtly conflated two very different issues: withdrawing futile medical intervention, and actively assisting death. It is not inconsistent to find the first acceptable but not the second. Not every death is a medical failure, and there are times when it's necessary to stop intervening. This, however, differs fundamentally from actively inducing death.
In scripture we are encouraged to act in a loving and compassionate manner. This the church has, throughout history, done in many practical ways. The Church in Scotland continues to do so – professionally, through agencies such as CrossReach, as well as in many individual situations through individual Christians.
Rev Sally Foster-Fulton
Convener, Church and Society Council
Church of Scotland
It is reassuring that someone from a business background is to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Unwise business ventures in church affairs are to be deplored, so discerning appointments always help. Here in the Church of Scotland, the case of the £13 million poured down the drain with the luxury Sea of Galilee hotel springs to mind (Controversy over the Kirk's £13 million luxury hotel in the Holy Land, News, October 28). However, it is not just in grandiose schemes that we witness ill-thought-out schemes. My 150-member church at Ardeer is threatened with closure. All our organisations are first-class, the building is in reasonable shape and more people have joined recently than any other church in the presbytery.
A recent survey showed that only one member is prepared to worship regularly at the new unified church. Half the sample might consider leaving the Church of Scotland altogether if enforced closure goes ahead. A 106-member petition is not even to be considered. We have calculated that annual loss of offerings in a new, unified church would be well over £17,000. The asking price for a small church nowadays is low. From the point of view of demographics and mission, it is important that Ardeer Parish Church survives. But economics are important too. The plan is being bulldozed through, with no regard to economic common sense or democracy. I wonder how many similar cases there are in the Church of Scotland nationally.
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