Homelessness and poverty event: Sunday 26 January

PRESS RELEASE FROM: Willie Morrison on behalf of Old High St Stephen’s Church

22 Jan 2014

For further information please contact the Rev Peter Nimmo on 01463 250802

Sunday kirk supper and drama to highlight local poverty

A city centre congregation is to highlight the plight of homeless in Inverness and the Highlands in a novel way, with a supper and a dramatised reading of the New Testament parable of the Prodigal Son.

This move, by Old High St Stephen’s congregation, in conjunction with Inverness Church of Scotland Presbytery, is its contribution to Poverty and Homelessness Action Week, a major national publicity drive to help the poorest in our society, which starts on Saturday.

The week features many memorable events at both local and national levels – from inspiring events featuring young people taking action for a better world, to hearings where people bravely share their experiences of poverty and homelessness.

The Inverness event, which takes place at Old High St Stephen’s Church Halls, Academy Street, on Sunday evening from 6pm, also features talks by and conversations with Dr Paul Monaghan and Alex Gilchrist of Highland Homeless Trust, who will emphasise the constant and increasing cries locally for help in the current financial climate.

Old High St Stephen’s minister the Rev Peter Nimmo said:

It is a chance for us to eat and meet, to worship and to learn first-hand of the issues, and for us, as followers of Jesus, to reflect on how we can use our gifts in response to this need. This invitation to join us and hear of these problems is being extended to folk of all faiths or none. All who are interested are welcome.

Congregation member and leading organiser Iain Todd, who is also a Church of Scotland reader – a trained and experienced lay preacher – remarked:

The aim of the evening is for all faiths or none to come together to listen, and perhaps learn, from two of the many professionals at work in our city with folk who are really struggling with issues of homelessness, poverty and the changes to the benefits system and who often, in their vulnerability and of necessity, find themselves drawn down the pay day loan route with its legal, but punitive interest rates.
Pay day loans are accepted by all as being awful things – and since the UK Government did away with crisis loans, and the new benefit system is paid a month in arrears, desperate folk who have no money are being sucked into the Wonga and Cash Converters of this world who charge horrendous rates.
I have a wee friend who recently told me she had borrowed £200, which will cost her £300 to repay.”

Mr Todd also spoke of an acquaintance who had told him he didn’t believe there was any real poverty in Inverness , and who insisted: “Define poverty for me. I bet they all have big plasma televisions.”

He said credit unions were not the answer for folk in dire poverty, as they were more akin to saving schemes, and would not respond to pleas for immediate cash.

And he concluded: “All are welcome on Sunday evening to listen, learn and maybe respond.”

Footnote: Inverness Food Bank, set up in 2005 at the Free Church Hall in Madras Street , and supported by many local churches and other organisations, now distributes emergency supplies to thousands of needy Highland families each year, and has the unenviable reputation of being one of the busiest of its kind in Britain .

ENDS

Old High history book now available

Tales of the Old High image

Our resident historian, Ross Martin, has written a quirky book of essays on aspects of the history of the Old High Church.

The Old High is the Town Church of Inverness, on a site dating back to Celtic times.

Tales of the Old High was launched on Friday 22 November when Ross spoke about his book and gave a tour of the building.

You can buy the book by sending a cheque for £5 made payable to Old High St Stephen’s Church to:

Ross Martin

‘Roseneath’

Drummond Crescent

Inverness

IV2 4QR.

You can also buy it from Waterstones in Inverness, or online from www.waterstones.com .

It’s also available on Sundays at both of our places of worship. Or contact us for a copy.

Here’s the introduction to the book by our Minister: Continue reading

Ding Dong Merrily Old High- family carol service for the Inverness Christmas Lights switch on

Outofthebox5

Following the Inverness Christmas Lights Switch on on Sunday 17 November, Santa will be making his way to the Old High Church for “Ding Dong Merrily Old High” our much loved Christmas Carol service- everybody is invited.

Ding Dong Merrily Old High starts around 6.30pm. It’s a short service aimed at families, so children of all ages are very welcome! This year Out of the Box puppets will be telling the Christmas story in their own inimitable way!

There will be an offering in aid of music therapy at The Orchard, a residential respite care centre in Inverness, run by Highland Council, for children and young people affected by disabilities.

The 2013 Christmas Lights Show will be hosted by STV’s Nicola McAlly and Santa will join Provost Alex Graham to switch on the lights at 6pm on Sunday 17 November.

The wonderful illumination of Inverness Town House by Arts in Motion promises to be one best yet, so please make a note to wrap up warm and come and join us.

Imagining Scotland’s Future

Imaging Scotland Future heading

Old High St Stephen’s congregation, the Presbytery of Inverness, and the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland invite you to a community meeting to ‘Imagine Scotland’s Future’.

Explore with your neighbours and friends the values you would like to see in Scotland in the years ahead.

The meeting will help you explore by focusing on 3 questions:

1. What values are most important to you for the Future of Scotland?
2. How can we make Scotland a better place to be?
3. How do we put our aspirations into action?

There will be structured discussion at the end of which we will have produced a values based statement about our vision for the future.

The outcomes of the discussions will be gathered from communities across Scotland in 2013 and published in 2014, in the run-up to the referendum on independence.

The Inverness event will be on Wednesday 23 October, 7.30pm at St Stephen’s Church, Southside Road, Inverness IV2 4XA. Click here for map.

If you are on Facebook, let us know you are coming by signing up on the event page.

More details from the Church and Society Council or leave a comment to contact us.

We have posters for this event which we would like to put up across the city. Download them here, or pick them up from the Church doors or contact us if you need more.

Recital on the Willis Organ at the Old High: Saturday 12 October, 12 noon

Richard SteeleSaturday 12 October, 12 noon: Recital on the historic Willis Organ with Richard Steele MA BMus FRCO FRAM GRSM HonRCM.

Richard Steele studied organ at the Royal Academy of Music, took a London University BMus and then gained a PGCE at Cambridge University. He is the son-in-law of one of our elders, Diana Fraser.

Donations welcome for The Highland Hospice and The Archie Foundation Raigmore Childrens Ward Appeal.

One of the conditions of the grants from The Heritage Lottery Fund and The Common Good Fund was to set up recitals and concerts in the Old High following the restoration of the organ.

After a quiet year in 2012 a short programme of recitals has been arranged for this year. It is hoped that over the winter a full programme will be organised and published for 2014.

Imagining Scotland’s Future

Imaging Scotland Future logoOld High St Stephen’s congregation, the Presbytery of Inverness, and the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland invite you to a community meeting to ‘Imagine Scotland’s Future’.

Explore with your neighbours and friends the values you would like to see in Scotland in the years ahead.

The meeting will help you explore by focusing on 3 questions:

1. What values are most important to you for the Future of Scotland?
2. How can we make Scotland a better place to be?
3. How do we put our aspirations into action?

There will be structured discussion at the end of which we will have produced a values based statement about our vision for the future.

The outcomes of the discussions will be gathered from communities across Scotland in 2013 and published in 2014, in the run-up to the referendum on independence.

Date: Wednesday 23 October
Time: 7.30pm
Place: St Stephen’s Church, Southside Road, Inverness IV2 4XA

Read more from the Church and Society Council.

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

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).

Sunday Bulletin for 14 April 2013

Worship Next Week
Wednesday 17 April
12.30pm Midweek Quiet Time at St Stephen’s
Sunday 21 April
11.15am Congregational Service: admission of New Members by Baptism and Confirmation at the Old High Church NB New time for Congregational Service: no service at St Stephen’s. Kirk Session meets 11am Parking available in John Fraser’s yard, just before
7.00pm Worship and discussion at St Stephen’s
SUNDAY BULLETIN ANNOUNCEMENTS should be sent to Joy Cossar The deadline for all items is Wednesday at noon. Continue reading

Sunday Bulletin for 17 March 2013

Worship This Week
Tonight
7pm Short Act of Worship for Lent, St Stephen’s
Wednesday 20 March
12.30pm Midweek Quiet Time at St Stephen’s
Sunday 24 March
10.00am All-Age Congregational Service with the Sacrament of Baptism at St Stephen’s NB New time for Congregational Service: no service at the Old High. Followed by annual meeting
7pm Short Act of Worship for Lent, St Stephen’s Continue reading