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10 December
Dec 10
10th December 2018

10 December 2018     The Bishops of Scotland have appointed Fr Jim Grant to be the new General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference. Fr Grant is currently Parish Priest of Holy Family Parish in Mossend, Bellshill in the Diocese of Motherwell. He succeeds Mgr Hugh Bradley who was appointed in 2012.     Commenting on the appointment, Bishop Joe Toal, Bishop of Motherwell said:     “I am happy that Fr Grant has accepted the Bishops’ request to succeed Mgr Hugh Bradley as General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. I am sure he will carry out his duties as General Secretary very well and will bring his long experience as a Parish Priest to assist wisely the Bishops and all who work for the Conference in the time ahead. Of course, we will miss his ministry in Motherwell Diocese but we are happy to contribute generously to the National Church in allowing Fr Grant to serve as General Secretary.  He will still be resident in the Diocese and will continue to have an active role where possible. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide him as he accepts this new challenge.”     Reacting to his appointment, Fr Grant said:     “It came as quite a shock to me to be asked to undertake this role. I never sought nor expected to be anything but a parish priest. It is the everyday pastoral work in a parish setting which energises me and where I have found great fulfilment and it is with a very heavy heart that I will leave parish ministry albeit for even a short time. I shall miss enormously being part of a parish community. This new role will be something completely different, however, I do see a pastoral element in the role of General Secretary to the Bishops’ Conference which is to support, encourage and affirm all the different agencies and individuals who do such great work for the Bishops’ Conference and indeed for Catholic Church in Scotland. In a sense, these people will become my new ‘parishioners’.”     Fr Grant added;     “I will find it hard to leave the wonderful Parish community of Holy Family, Mossend where I have spent over 23 years as Parish Priest.  I shall treasure my years there and as I move on to new pastures, I would hope to use the pastoral experience gained over the last 35 years in parish life in my new role.”     ENDS     Note to Editors: Fr Grant’s appointment will take effect from 31 January 2019     Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291

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3 December
Dec 3
3rd December 2018

Monday 3 December 2018     The Independent Review Group (IRG) established by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland held a meeting today, (3 December 2018), with stakeholders from throughout the Catholic Church to announce and prepare for a professional audit of safeguarding in two Dioceses in Scotland to be conducted by Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and Children in Scotland (CIS).     The Dioceses randomly chosen from the 8 in Scotland are the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, and the Diocese of Galloway. The outcome of this detailed work is intended to ensure full implementation of the McLellan Commission’s recommendations and put in place a robust system of safeguarding for children and vulnerable adults that can be measured against the best international standards.     Helen Liddell, Chair of the IRG commented: -     "We cannot eliminate the pain of those who experienced abuse in the past, but we can put in place not just procedures but a culture that both supports them and protects all those who most need our care and compassion in future".     “I chair a group of outstanding and experienced professionals who are committed to making sure children and vulnerable adults come to no harm when in the care of the Church. They have reviewed in considerable detail the self-administered audits of all the Scottish Dioceses and that knowledge, together with the professional audits announced today, will form the basis for putting in place procedures that meet the requirements of the McLellan Commission recommendations and that can stand up to the most rigorous analysis.”     “I am grateful that the Bishops Conference of Scotland have recognised the independence of the Review Group and have agreed to these procedures. The results of the audits will be made public at the same time as they are released to BCOS”.     ENDS     Note to Editors:     For further information, contact Richard Riley 07817 540144   The Social Care Institute for Excellence is an independent charitywhich advises on; Safeguarding, social care, health, housing and support to children and adults.   IRG Members Biographical details:   Helen Liddell (Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke) Chair, is a former Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for Scotland. She is a member of the House of Lords.    Bartolomeo Biagini is an educational consultant with extensive experience of leadership of children’s services, inspection and review.  He was formerly a lead HM inspector of education with responsibility for inclusion and was involved in child protection inspections.    Gordon Jeyes OBE was the UK's first Director of Children's Services and retired recently as the first Chief Executive of Ireland's Child and Family Agency (Tusla).     Roisin McGoldrick is a former member of the McLellan Commission. She is a registered social worker and is currently employed as a teaching fellow in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Strathclyde University.     Lesley Ann Russell is an experienced charity trustee and manager, specialising in organisation change, management of risk and safeguarding.      Donald Urquhart is the National Safeguarding Adviser to the Scottish Episcopal Church.  He is a retired police officer and has worked as both a lead officer and an independent chair of child protection committees in Scotland.     Lisa Markham is a safeguarding professional with extensive experience including work within the Church.     McLellan Commission’s 8 principal recommendations:     Support for the survivors of abuse must be an absolute priority for the Catholic Church in Scotland in the field of safeguarding. The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland should make a public apology to all survivors of abuse within the Church.     The ...

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27 November
Nov 27
27th November 2018

Tuesday 27 November 2018     This evening (Tuesday 27 November, 6pm) the Catholic Bishops of Scotland will join members of Parliament at a special exhibition in Holyrood to mark the significant contribution of the Church to Scottish society and beyond.     The event highlights the extensive work carried out by agencies and commissions of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and its associated organisations.     Speaking ahead of the event, Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government who will welcome the exhibition said:     “I am delighted to be able to help celebrate the enormous contribution the Catholic Church makes to life in Scotland, and further afield. The Church has a hugely positive impact on the lives of so many people, including supporting many of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, and we greatly value our relationships with the Catholic community. I am looking forward to meeting and working with the new President of the Bishop’s Conference, Bishop Gilbert, as well as representatives from the diverse range of organisations attending.”     Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office said:     “When you talk about the Catholic Church you don’t often think of the innumerable instances of selfless charity that go unnoticed each and every day. Feeding the poor, tending to the sick and the lonely, standing up for the vulnerable and the defenceless.      “Day in day out the Church is doing this great work and is making a significant and positive contribution to Scottish society. And it’s all out of love. This event, highlighting some of that work to our parliamentarians is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the continuing influence of Christ in our society.”     ENDS     Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291     Note to editors:     You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/camera crew to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 27 November at 6pm.   The relics of Saint Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, will also be welcomed to the Scottish Parliament for the evening from the National shrine of St Andrew, St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh.   Students from Holyrood Secondary School, Edinburgh will provide musical entertainment on the night.   All of Scotland’s eight Catholic Bishops will be in attendance.   Images will be available from the Scottish Catholic Media Office at:   A full list of exhibitors is available at: ...

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