Constitutional Review- new Action Teams being formed

Following Future Focus, one of the big issues we decided to address was a streamlining of our decision-making structures.

We’ve abolished our Congregational Board (introducing a Unitary Constitution).

We are now introducing a small Leadership Team, which will report to the Kirk Session.

We’re also inviting congregation members to join the Action Teams- please get in touch if you would like to help.

Here is the full report which went to the Session.

A shorter version of this document will be in the September church magazine.

Comments are, as always, very welcome!

God does care! Sermon for Sunday 25 August at St Stephen’s

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 25 August 2013: Year C, Proper 16

SERMON
Texts: Jeremiah 1:4-10
Luke 13:10-17

God does care!
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today’s a wonderful day of new beginnings. It’s the beginning of the school year, and it’s always lovely to welcome children to church today. We’ve been celebrating new beginnings with the families of Freya and Amy-Rose to church, as we celebrate their baptism today. And every Sunday is a day of new beginnings for Christians, because for us Sunday is the first day of the week.

According to the old legend of creation in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, God created the world in six days, and rested on the seventh. Continue reading

Kirking of the Council 8 September 2013

Read the sermon for the Kirking of the Council here.

Photographs now online here .

Kirking jpeg

Many representatives of the life of the city joined us on Sunday 8 September for the Kirking of the Council .

The Kirking is the annual service at which members of the Inverness City Committee of the Highland Council attend the Old High Church. The event is open to all, with a special invitation to those who work in public service.

Antonio Ciseri (1871) Ecce homo! (Behold the man!). (Depicting Pontius Pilate presenting a scourged Christ to the people) Wikipedia Commons: public domain

The preacher was the minister of Old High St Stephen’s, the Rev Peter W Nimmo. He preached on the trail of Christ before Pontius Pilate, with the sermon title ‘A Politician’s Dilemma‘, which is now available online.

Prayers were led by the Rev Colin Macleod of the Free North Church, and the Rev Alastair Murray, Moderator of Inverness Church of Scotland Presbytery. We also heard from Lorna Dempster, Co-ordinator of Highland Foodbank (Blythswood Care).

A special offering was taken for Christian Aid’s Syria Crisis Appeal.

A parade, including local schools, members of uniformed youth organisations, the University of the Highlands and Islands, and soldiers of 3 Scots from Fort George, left and returned from the Town House.

Read the Highland Council news release before the Kirking here.

If you’re wondering why we host the Kirking, read a sermon about the Kirking here.

For more information, contact the Peter W Nimmo (01463 250 802).

Sermon for 18 August 2013 Cameron Highlanders memorial dedication

Photographs of the new Cameron Highlanders Memorial Area will be online shortly.

The Memorial may be visited when the church is open, usually Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 12 noon and 2-4pm

You may download this sermon as a PDF file here .

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 18 August 2013: Year C, Proper 15
SERMON Texts: Hebrews 11.1 & 11.29-12:2
2 Corinthians 10.1-5
Remembering… for the future
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

 Rev Peter Nimmo (right) and Rev Alasdair MacLennan dedicate Cameron Highlanders' Memorial Area


Rev Peter Nimmo (right) and Rev Alasdair MacLennan dedicate Cameron Highlanders’ Memorial Area

Almost the first time I was in this building, I found, tucked away on the East Stairway, the evocative Martinpuich cross which we have now made the centrepiece of the Cameron Highlanders Memorial Area. We know remarkably little about this object. We have not yet discovered when, or why, it came to this church. But the basic information is painted on the cross:

In memory of officers and men, Sixth Battalion, Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, who died in the capture of Martinpuich, Sept. 15th 1916.

Continue reading

Hope in a Fragile World- sermon by Martin Johnstone at the Old High Church, Inverness 11th August 2013

Martin Johnstone is Secretary of the Priority Areas committee of the Church of Scotland, working with the poorest parishes in Scotland. This was his sermon at a summer evening service at the Old High on 11 August 2013

Texts- Micah 6:6 – 8 and Acts 2:43 – 47.

If you were to have a look on the website of the Poverty Truth Commission you would find the story of Isha, a remarkable young Muslim girl who lives in Govanhill, Scotland’s most diverse community and also one of the most fragile. Isha talks about the struggle of growing up in poverty and of how things will change when she is Prime Minister. Continue reading

Cameron Highlanders Memorial Area dedication Sunday 18 August

Under construction: the Camerons Memorial Area

On Sunday 18 August, during the 11.15am service, we will dedicate a new Memorial Area within the Church. All are welcome at the service.

The Old High Church was the regimental church of the former Cameron Highlanders Regiment. The Church houses their colours, various memorials, and rolls of honour (memorial books).

The new Memorial Area, located along the wall nearest the river, which brings together various memorials of the Cameron Highlanders into a new space within the Church.

The Martinpuich Cross, previously hidden away on the east stairwell

The Martinpuich Cross, previously hidden away on the east stairwell

The centrepiece is the Martinpuich Cross, which has been relocated from the west stairwell of the church. This wooden cross was raised in France shortly after a battle in 1916, and later brought back to Inverness. Also collected in the new area are the Cameron Highlanders’ roll of honour books, war memorial plaques and other historic artefacts from around the church.

The memorial area is separated from the main body of the church by a wooden partition topped by a frosted glass screen featuring a striking design by Gordon Harvey. Click the link below to download the design (NB this is a large PDF file which may take some time to load. You have have to turn it 90 degrees to view on your computer. The design is liable to change):

Gordon Harvey’s design for memorial area

As well as a space for remembering, we hope the memorial area will also become an exhibition space and an informal gathering place within the church.

2013 marks the 220th Anniversary of the raising of the 79th Regiment or Cameron Volunteers by Major Allan Cameron of Erracht. The Cameron Highlanders Association have raised the funds for the memorials space. Veterans of the regiment will join us at Sunday worship during the weekend of their annual gathering in Inverness.

The cost of the memorial areas has been met the members of the Cameron Highlanders Association, Inverness Common Good Fund, Old High St Stephen’s fabric fund, and donations from members of the congregation.

You can also see the plans online by clicking the graphic above.

The following information has been provided by Angus Fairrie, Convenor of the Cameron Highlanders Association, whose members have raised the funds for this project.

THE REGIMENTAL CHURCH OF THE QUEEN’S OWN CAMERON HIGHLANDERS

Under the Army Reforms of 1881 the County of Inverness formed the major part of the Regimental District of The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, while the Regimental Depot and Headquarters were established at Cameron Barracks. There was no church in the barracks, and so the Old High Church in Inverness became the Regimental Church of the Cameron Highlanders.

During World War I the Cameron Highlanders expanded to fourteen battalions. At the end of the Great War the Service battalions of the New Army were each presented with a King’s Colour to mark their war service. When these battalions were disbanded, the King’s Colours of the 6th and 7th Service Battalions of the Cameron Highlanders were laid up in the Old High Church. After the Depot of the Cameron Highlanders closed in 1960, the Colours of the 3rd Militia Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders, which had been used by the Depot, were also laid up in the Old High Church. They have recently been restored and re-hung.

Other interesting items relating to the Cameron Highlanders include the Celtic Cross erected by the 6th Service Battalion during the Battle of the Somme when it had played a distinguished part in the attack on the village of Martinpuich. The Cross, to which the names of those killed were attached on metal tags, was recovered at the end of the war and brought back to the Old High Church.

The Rolls of Honour of the Cameron Highlanders, which are copies of those in the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle, are also displayed. Other memorial plaques from the Depot were presented after the amalgamation of the Cameron Highlanders with the Seaforth Highlanders in 1961 to form the Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons).

The present Minister and congregation of Old High St Stephen’s have decided that the Colours of the Cameron Highlanders, and the other items, should be brought together to form a fitting memorial to those who have given their lives in the service of their country and their Regiment in both World Wars, and in other conflicts.