Concert this Saturday: Richard Steele plays the historic Old High Willis organ

Richard Steele
Respected organist Richard Steele returns for a third time to play a concert on the historic Willis organ at the Old High Church this coming Saturday.

He’ll play music by J S Bach, Mendelssohn, Stanford and Vierne.

Download the programme here.

The recital is part of the 150th anniversary of the Royal College of Organists and donations will go to the RCO Anniversary Appeal.

To receive information about music at Old High St Stephen’s, email ohssmusic@gmail.com .

Old High music 2014

Click here for more information about the lunchtime concerts at the Old High Church

Download the event poster here.

Richard Steele studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London University and Cambridge University.

After a teaching career which started in Edinburgh, he took a Master’s degree in Arts Administration at City University.

From 1988 Richard was Executive Director of the Society for the Promotion of New Music. Appointed Executive Director at the British Association of Concert Agents in 1994, he became the first Executive Director of the International Artist Managers’ Association in January 1996.

Director of Resources and then Artistic Policy at the Royal College of Music between 2002 and 2010, he is currently a trustee of the Gemini ensemble and the Kirckman Concert Society.

A Fellow of the RCO, he has given solo recitals throughout the UK, including St Paul’s, Ripon, Southwark and Lincoln Cathedrals, and accompanied choirs in many choral concerts, including the Brahms Requiem under Sir David Willcocks.

He is delighted to be giving another recital on the Old High organ.

With the 150 for 150 Recital Challenge, the Royal College of Organists (RCO) is celebrating its 150th anniversary by uniting organists across the country and internationally in a spectacular year-long celebratory recital series of at least 150 concerts.

Throughout 2014 the RCO will be celebrating 150 years of working for the advancement of this fine tradition. Through this recital, and other events like it, we hope that we can share our celebrations with everyone plays the organ, directs or sings in a choir, or simply enjoys the music.

More information here about the Royal College of Organists and its 150th anniversary celebrations

 

Organist and choir director sought for Old High Church

We are currently searching for a new organist and choir director for the Old High Church.

Here is the advert and the job description for the post.

ORGANIST AND CHOIR DIRECTOR AT OLD HIGH CHURCH, INVERNESS

We are looking for someone to play the finest organ in the Highlands

Old High St Stephen’s congregation are seeking an organist and choir director for the Old High Church, Inverness.

The Old High is the original parish church of the city of Inverness. We have a fine Willis organ, beautifully restored in 2010, which is often used for concerts (our new organist can help develop this aspect of our music).

We have a small but enthusiastic choir. Our worship is formal, but music is a blend of old and new.

Our vision for worship at the Old High is to further develop our tradition of formal worship whilst being open to fresh ideas.

If you would like to know more, our minister would be happy to speak to you: The Rev Peter W Nimmo 01463 250 802 peternimmo@minister.com

ORGANIST AND CHOIR DIRECTOR
The Old High Church, Church Street, Inverness
Job Description

Old High St Stephen’s is a congregation of the Church of Scotland with two places of worship: the Old High in the city centre and St Stephen’s in Southside Road. They have shared a minister since 1975, but have been an united congregation for more than ten years under a single Kirk Session, using historic churches as places of worship.

Church services are held every Sunday at 11.15am in the Old High, except for a small number of ‘congregational services’ when only one service is held that morning in one of our buildings. On these Sundays, the two choirs combine to lead the praise.

The Old High Church is on a site that goes back to Celtic times. Although there are some mediaeval parts of the building, today’s distinctive sanctuary dates from the 18th century.

It is a venue for significant civic and community occasions, such as the recent World War I Commemoration, and the annual Kirking of the Council.

The fine two-manual and pedal Willis organ was beautifully restored to its original condition in 2010, and there is a small enthusiastic SATB choir.

Duties would include:
• Leading worship with the organ and the choir at Sunday services and other services set by the Kirk Session.
• Developing the musical life of the choir and congregation, including the introduction of new choir repertoire and hymns.
• Leading regular choir practices.
• Helping to develop the concerts and other musical activities at the Old High.
• Playing for weddings and funerals (if available).
• Developing the important musical link with St Stephen’s.
• It is hoped the successful applicant might participate in the Worship Action Team.

Qualifications should include:
• A sound organ technique.
• Ability to lead a choir and bring out the musical talents of the congregation.
• Knowledge of, and a sympathetic and sensitive approach to, church music, worship and the Christian faith.

There will be a contract of employment based on the Church of Scotland’s standard organist contract.

This post requires PVG clearance.

For more information, please contact:

Rev Peter W Nimmo
Telephone 01463 250 802
Email: peternimmo(a)minister.com (replace (a) with @)

or the secretary to the selection committee, Mrs Margaret Sutherland (Depute Session Clerk), telephone 01463 235 324.

Applications, including a CV and details of two referees, should be sent to Mr Nimmo, either by email or by post to:

Rev Peter W Nimmo
24 Damfield Road
Inverness IV2 3HU

Paradoxical freedom: sermon for 29 September 2014 (St Stephen’s communion)

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 28 September 2014

SERMON
Texts:  Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28

Paradoxical freedom

A few years ago, former Pope Benedict XIV, pondering why is Christianity is so unpopular in Europe today, said that he thought many people were put off Christianity because they think that, he said, that ‘Christianity is composed of laws and bans which one has to keep’ which is ‘something toilsome and cumbersome’ I didn’t often agree with Benedict, but I think he was right that time. Many people do think that Christianity- in its Catholic or Protestant forms- is cumbersome. I happen to believe that believing in Christ sets us free. But that is not always how it is seen. Continue reading

A strange generosity: sermon for Sunday 21 September 2014

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 21 September 2014: Year A, Proper 20

SERMON

A strange generosity
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Old Testament reading: Exodus 16:1-15

The people of Israel are now in the wilderness. Finding the water undrinkable, they have complained to Moses, and God has made it potable. He has tested their faith: will they accept him by trusting that he will feed and rule them? Now the Israelites grumble once again.

1 The whole Israelite community set out from Elim, and on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left Egypt, they came to the desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai. 2 There in the desert they all complained to Moses and Aaron 3 and said to them, “We wish that the Lord had killed us in Egypt. There we could at least sit down and eat meat and as much other food as we wanted. But you have brought us out into this desert to starve us all to death.”
The Lord said to Moses, “Now I am going to cause food to rain down from the sky for all of you. The people must go out every day and gather enough for that day. In this way I can test them to find out if they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to bring in twice as much as usual and prepare it.”
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “This evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt. 7 In the morning you will see the dazzling light of the Lord’s presence. He has heard your complaints against him—yes, against him, because we are only carrying out his instructions.” 8 Then Moses said, “It is the Lord who will give you meat to eat in the evening and as much bread as you want in the morning, because he has heard how much you have complained against him. When you complain against us, you are really complaining against the Lord.”
9 Moses said to Aaron, “Tell the whole community to come and stand before the Lord, because he has heard their complaints.” 10 As Aaron spoke to the whole community, they turned toward the desert, and suddenly the dazzling light of the Lord appeared in a cloud. 11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the complaints of the Israelites. Tell them that at twilight they will have meat to eat, and in the morning they will have all the bread they want. Then they will know that I, the Lord, am their God.”
13 In the evening a large flock of quails flew in, enough to cover the camp, and in the morning there was dew all around the camp. 14 When the dew evaporated, there was something thin and flaky on the surface of the desert. It was as delicate as frost. When the Israelites saw it, they didn’t know what it was and asked each other, “What is it?”
Moses said to them, “This is the food that the Lord has given you to eat.

It has been quite a week. A week of conversations- not all about the same subject, but many of them were. A week when we suddenly realised that history was in the making.

When I went into the polling booth and looked at the form, I surprised myself by suddenly being overcome by the immensity of the question: ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ Continue reading

A national day of prayer on eve of the referendum

The Church of Scotland is supporting an ecumenical initiative to encourage prayer the day before the referendum.

Old High St Stephen’s is making our buildings available to those who want to pray or reflect.

OH smallThis Wednesday the Old High Church will be open for reflection from 10am-4pm

There will be a short prayer service at 12noon.

The Old High will also be open as usual from 10-12 noon and from 2-4pm on Thursday- Referendum Day- and the following day (Friday). 

St Stephen's cropped (2)There will also be prayers at 7.30pm on Wednesday at St Stephen’s, Southside Road.

All are welcome to these events.

Here are details of the ecumenical prayer initiative, which has been commended by the Moderator of the General Assembly.

Choose life!- Sermon for the Kirking of the Council 2014

The Kirking of the Council is an annual community event when members of the Inverness City Committee of Highland Council, and other community representatives, process to the Old High Church to take part in our Sunday worship.

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 14 September 2014: Year A, The Kirking of the Council
SERMON

Texts: Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Romans 14:1-12
Matthew 5:1-11,33-37

Choose life!

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

There’s an story about an English vicar who always seemed to give away his politics by his choices of hymns. If the Tories won an election, the first hymn the following Sunday was something like ‘Now thank we all our God’. If Labour won, it would be ‘Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways’. On one exceptional occasion, the Liberals won the local council election. So it was with great anticipation that his congregation came to church the following Sunday. The first hymn given out was, ‘The Lord moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform’. Continue reading

Who needs reconciliation anyhow?: Sermon for Sunday 7 September 2014

A note from the Minister: after completing this sermon I fell ill and was unable to deliver it on Sunday morning. I’m grateful to the Rev Morven Archer who took our services in my place, and who used much of the material below. This is the sermon I would have preached had I been able to. I’m glad to say I’m on the mend, since you ask!

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 7 September 2014: Year A, Proper 18

SERMON
Texts: Romans 13:8-14
Matthew 18:15-20

Who needs reconciliation anyhow?
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

This week the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev John Chalmers, chaired a ‘respectful dialogue’ on the independence referendum. It was held in a Glasgow church, but the rest of us could participate because if was put out live on the Internet. At the Crown Church, we watched the speakers live on a big screen, had own audience comments section, and emailed our thoughts back to Glasgow. It was a fascinating experience, being linked up in that way to others around the country. As I was checking that I could communicate with the person receiving the emails in Glasgow, I suddenly thought of the Eurovision Song Contest- ‘Hello, this is Helsinki, here are the votes of the Finnish jury’. Maybe one day the General Assembly will be replaced by this kind of technology- although perhaps the Assembly will be unlikely to turn into a version of Eurovision. Continue reading

Kirking of the Council 2014

The historic Kirking of the Council service took place at the Old High Church on Sunday 14 September.

Inverness members of the Highland Council were joined by civic leaders for an ecumenical service celebrating public service.

The service this year happened to take place the Sunday before the Scottish independence referendum, and so there was a them of reconciliation in the service.

‘Choose life!’ was the title of the sermon which the Minister, the Rev Peter W Nimmo, preached at the service.

Here’s the Order of Service for the Kirking of the Council.

Here’s a sermon looking forward to the Kirking, from the previous Sunday.

Kirking graphic 2014