The scene after the Kirking service in 2017. Image courtesy Highland Council/ Ewen Weatherspoon

An ancient Inverness ceremony – the Kirking of the Council – takes places this Sunday, 9 September 2018.

Staff and Members of The Highland Council along with guests from the University of the Highlands and Islands and community councils will parade, led by the Royal British Legion Scotland (Inverness Branch) pipes and drums, and the City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band along with uniformed youth groups and school representatives. Also attending will be the Mayor of Inverness’s twin town, St Valery en Caux, France, Mme Dominique Chauvel, and her deputy.

All members of the public, especially those who work in the public services to attend the Kirking this Sunday.

The 200-strong colourful Kirking parade begins from Crown Primary School at 10.30am and travels down Stephen’s Brae towards the Town House where they will be joined by Provost Helen Carmichael, Councillors and representatives from various organisations serving the city. The parade will then make its way from Inverness Town House along the riverside to the Old High Church on Church Street.

The service in the Old High Church – which is open to all – begins at 11.15am. Due to the popularity of the Kirking those intending to join the congregation are asked to arrive in good time to take their seats. After the service the procession will then form up in Church Street before returning to the Town House.

The Kirking Service will be led by Reverend Peter Nimmo, Minister of Old High St Stephen’s Church. Members of the congregation will contribute readings and prayers. The combined choirs of the Old High and St Stephens will sing at the event; with Pam McCulloch (the Choir Director at St Stephen’s) conducting; and Robin Versteeg (Choir Director of the Old High) organist for the service.

The Kirking is the oldest annual gathering staged in the City of Inverness, and brings over 400 years of tradition and pageantry to the streets of Highland Capital. The Kirking is held on the morning of the second Sunday in September and marks the official end of the Inverness Summer Festivals programme.

During the service, thanks will be given on the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service. Inverness is home to Raigmore Hospital, and the Health Service is one of the city’s largest employers. In his sermon, the Rev Peter Nimmo will say, “We should cherish the health service. It is a fine example of ‘solidarity’, in which wider society helps look after those unable to help themselves’.

6 September 2018


The Old High Church, Church Street, Inverness is the oldest church in Inverness, occupying a site which has had a church since Celtic times. The Old High is one of two places of worship used by the congregation of Old High St Stephen’s- the other is St Stephen’s in Southside Road. Old High St Stephen’s is a congregation of the Church of Scotland.

The Reverend Peter W Nimmo is minister of Old High St Stephen’s. He can be contacted at 01463 250 802 or


Twitter: @invernesschurch

Highland Council contact: Gerry Reynolds 01463 785006

A gallery of images from last year’s Kirking (courtesy of Highland Council) is available here:

Rev Peter W Nimmo and Provost Helen Carmichael at the Kirking in 2015
Image courtesy Highland Counci/ Ewen Weatherspoon