To whom shall we go? A sermon for the Anniversary of the Battle of Loos

On 27 September 2015, the Colours of  the 4th/5th Battalion, the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, were laid up in the Old High Church. The Camerons were the local regiment, and the Old High was their Regimental Church, and now houses the Camerons Memorial Area. The service took place at the time of the anniversary of the Battle of Loos (1915) in which many Camerons were killed and injured. The Loos commemoration was previewed in the Inverness Courier

Scripture Readings: Ephesians 6.10-18 (King James Version)
John 6:60-69 (Good News Bible)

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

Today our congregation is delighted to once again play host to the members of the Cameron Highlanders Association. I know that you will enjoy the comradeship of your reunion weekend. Yet a service like this has a more sombre tone, especially when, as we do today, we recall an event which led to such loss of life for the regiment- and, of course, for many others. Some of you here served in the regiment, and heard about the Battle of Loos alongside other stories from your regimental history. Others of you are descended from family members who were at the battle- for you, this is family history. And then some of you will be here because of your connections with the battalions whose colours we receive into safekeeping here at the Old High today. Continue reading

At the Table- a sermon on Holy Communion, 20 September 2015

Scripture Readings: John 6.53-59
Mark 14.22-26

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

The BBC recently had a series about Indian railways, featuring the Calcutta station which gets as many passengers in a day as travel on the whole of the British Railway network. India’s railways are busy. So busy, Indians don’t just ride in trains- they ride on top of them, too.

There is a scene in the film Ghandi in which a Christian missionary, a friend of Ghandi’s, is- unusually for a Westerner- riding on top of a train. He finds himself in conversation with a Hindu, who is very suspicious of this Christian. The Hindu can’t understand Christianity, for he’s heard that Christians are the people who eat their God. Continue reading

Organ Recital 3 October 2015

Old High Music

Organ Recital on Saturday 3rd October at 12 noon by David Mackay.   From previous recitals we know that this will be a splendid event.

David Mackay developed his early playing skills at Ness Bank Church before studying at the Royal Scottish Academy in Glasgow.   He has many years experience as an organist in and around Ayr, including regular performances at the Kelvingrove Art Galleries.

His one-hour programme includes work by J.S. Bach, Chapell, Jongen, Boellmann and Vierne.

We are counting on a good audience to welcome David back to his old home town!

Click here for the Organ Recital Programme

Sunday Bulletin 13 September 2015

Sunday 20 September
10am Sacrament of Baptism and Sacrament of Holy Communion at St Stephen’s
11.15 Morning Worship at the Old High
Led by Dougie Wolf, Student Assistant
SUNDAY BULLETIN ITEMS should be sent to Jim Monro: The deadline for all items is Wednesday at noon.
For further information and contact details for any items listed below:
E-mail: invernesschurch<at> (replace <at> with @)
FAMILY FUN DAY Saturday 19 September, 1 to 4pm. St Stephen’s Church, Southside Road IV2 4XA. Please put this in your diary to help out or to bring a friend! A chance to people of all ages in our community into the church with activities, crafts, food, and music. Volunteers are required to show off their skills and talents- simply taking part in hosting this event will answer the question many in our community have about church; Q. what do they do in that building? A. worship God through fellowship, music, meals, and service. There will be activities inside and outside the church so that people take notice! It’s not too late to volunteer to help out. And we also need a GAZEBO: Dougie Wolf
We’ll also need help with setting up Friday 18th Sept 7pm, and 11am on the Saturday 19th And to tidy up 4-5pm.
PARKING will be available at Southside Dental Practice 28 Southside Rd; Kingsmills Surgery 18 Southside Road; Southside Road Surgery 43 Southside Road: Parking at drivers’ own risk.
SILENT AUCTION is part of the Fun Day. Could you offer any items for the auction? Or your time & talents eg gardening/ cleaning/ painting/ car washing etc to people in our community and congregation? Drop off your items on Friday night or Saturday morning. Contact Margaret McAleer if it’s a skill you want to offer
Upcoming outreach events
More Old High concerts
Bring a friend to Church at our Harvest Thanksgiving, 4 October
Ding Dong Merrily Old High, 22 November
Christmas Fayre, 28 November
Alterative Advent Meal, 6 December
Christmas Concert at St Stephen’s 17 December
Christmas Lunch 20 December
and a Scottish-themed event in the New Year.
Details to follow!
SPEAK OUT 10,000 VOICES FOR CHANGE is an initiative by the Church of Scotland inviting YOU to give an idea how Scotland could be a fairer, more equal and more just society. Please fill in the card on the pews, and either hand it in at the end of the service or post it. Alternatively, please visit
FRIENDS OF THE OLD HIGH CHURCH We will shortly be launching a Friends Group to help ensure the future of the Old High Church. The Friends Group will be open to anyone, at home or abroad, within or beyond the congregation, who wishes to help to maintain the oldest building in Inverness. You can help with your money, or with your time, or both! The Old High building is of significant historical, cultural and spiritual value one of the landmarks of the Highland Capital. It does, however, face an uncertain future. You can help make sure that it continues as a venue for the arts, a significant visitor attraction in the city centre, a centre for the city community to gather, and a place for prayer and reflection for all. Please see the leaflets we will be handing out as you leave this morning, or visit .
KIRK SESSION Next meeting will be on 15 September in St Stephen’s Hall at 7.30pm. Please note change from usual venue.
HOBBY/CRAFT EVENINGS upcoming dates are: 23 September, 7 & 21 October, 4 & 18 November and 2 December. Please put the dates in your diary and join us for craft & friendship 7.30-9pm in St Stephen’s Hall. All are welcome. For details contact Margaret McAleer.
ST STEPHEN’S TODDLER GROUP runs on a Monday morning during school term time in the church hall. We are open from 9.45am to 1130am and welcome all 0 to 3 year olds and their mum\dad\granny\carer. There are toys, crafts, songs, outings and a healthy snack. We are a small friendly group looking for new members. Please come along to see if you enjoy our group or pass this information on to anyone else you also think might like to know about us! Secretary, Abby Lucas for more information.
MUSICIANS AT ST STEPHEN’S Pam McCulloch, our organist and choir director, would like to know of anyone of any age who would like to help accompany our singing with any instrument to enrich our hymn singing occasionally with a small band. Contact Pam at, or speak to her or any choir member at the Sunday service
HEALING SERVICE There will be a healing service in St Stephen’s TODAY at 4pm to which all are welcome. Contact Ruth Martin.
OHSS MAGAZINE the editor of the OHSS Magazine, urgently requires articles and photos for the next issue, which is due out at the end of September. Please submit whatever you can by to Deadline is Friday 18 September, but the earlier the better.
OLD HIGH ORGANIST We continue to seek applications and recommendations for this post. Contact: Andrew Stevenson (01463 242767: stevenson.ata<at>
DOUGIE WOLF will have his last Sunday with us (already!) next week. If you would like to contribute to a gift for him, please bring it in an envelope marked ‘Dougie’ and place it in the offering, or contact Sandy Cumming, our treasurer.
ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF LOOS Sunday 27 September 11.15am at the Old High. Once again we will be joined by the Cameron Highlanders Regimental Association as we remember this battle of the First World War in which many local Cameron Highlanders were killed and injured. We will also be laying up regimental colours which were previously at Fort George. All welcome- details from Peter.
CHURCH NEWS BY EMAIL We are keen to have email addresses of the congregation so that we can quickly share news. Rest assured that your email will not be give to anyone else. Please send you name and email address to Pat:
CAMERON HOUSE AFTERNOON TEA Saturday 26th September, in Green Drive Scout Hall, from 2pm – 4pm. Admission £3 incl Tea/Coffee with home baking. Children Free. Children Free (with a paying adult). Home Baking and Vegetable stalls. All proceeds go to providing extras for the residents in Cameron House. Tickets available from Rae Swan, Jaye Rankine, and Val Cantlay. Further information from Rae.
PASTORAL CARE DAY an opportunity to worship together and reflect on Pastoral Care. Topics: “Going deeper in Pastoral conversations”; “Pastoral Care and Dementia”; “Bereavement Care”. Open to anyone in the congregation. Saturday 19 September from 9.30 to 1.00pm. Contact Heather Beck
DAY OF PRAYER TO HIGHLIGHT THE PLIGHT OF REFUGEES St Andrew’s Cathedral, Inverness, Friday 25th September Come for the whole day or for five minutes. Come once or return throughout the day. 8am Morning Prayer; 11.15am Communion; 7.30pm Service of Light and Commitment to Pray. There will be an opportunity to offer your own prayers throughout the day to be added to a prayer tree and to leave donations to the charities working to support and help refugees. Our own minister will be taking part in this with clergy from other churches. Details from Peter
ALPHA COURSE AT CROWN CHURCH A chance to ask any questions about life & faith and to explore the basics of Christianity in a friendly, informal environment (with tea/coffee and cakes!). Mondays from 28 Sept to 30 Nov; 7-8.45pm in The Olive Grove. Contact Charlie Forbes CrownAlphaCourse<at>

Justice or charity?- a sermon for the Kirking of the Council, 13 September 2015

Scripture Readings: Amos 7.7-17
Luke 10.25-37

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

In 2012, there was massive media coverage when the Costa Concordia, a luxury cruise ship, ran aground off Italy, leading to the tragic deaths of 32 passengers and crew. But almost unnoticed, the Italian coastguard were also busy elsewhere:

That same day, the first of three boats carrying African refugees across the Mediterranean from Libya towards Malta and Italy was rescued by coastguards, in an incident which attracted no news coverage whatsoever. 72 were saved, including a pregnant woman and 29 children. The second boat was rescued two days later by a Maltese armed patrol vessel, assisted by the US Navy. The 68 who were saved included a mother who had just given birth… The third boat didn’t make it. A distress call warning of engine failure was intercepted by the Maltese maritime authorities the morning after the Concordia disaster. Then no more was heard….until the last week of January, when the first 15 bodies were washed up on Libyan beaches –at least 55 were lost.

I’m quoting there from a leaflet produced by the Church of Scotland Guild on the situation in Malta. Continue reading

Kirking of the Council: Sunday 13 September 2015

Kirking Post 2015Our minister, the Rev Peter W Nimmo, is giving an open invitation to all the citizens of Inverness to join us at the Kirking of the Council service this Sunday at the Old High Church. A parade begins from the High Street at 10.45am. The service in the Old High Church, which is open to all, begins at 11.15am. Continue reading

Sermon for 6 September 2015 Companions- or enemies? How we spoil Eden

Scripture Readings: Genesis 2:4b-25 (Narrative Lectionary reading for Pentecost 16)
Mark 10.13-16

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

The Book of Genesis offers two stories about the creation of the world. This morning we have hear the start of the second one, the version which is about man and woman being created in the Garden of Eden. The trick with reading these stories is not to see them as accounts from ancient history, but stories about today. Adam- Adam is everyman, Eve is everywoman. Adam and Eve are me and you. This is a story about all of us. Continue reading