Old High St. Stephen's, Inverness

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Reflection for the centenary of the outbreak of World War One

Reflection for World War One commemoration, 3 August 2014, Old High Church
Rev Peter W Nimmo, minister of Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
from The Glimmering Landscape, Charles L Warr

Throughout that glorious summer of 1914 the Suffragettes became noisier and noisier, smashing windows, breaking up meetings, chaining themselves to railing and pouring acid down pillar boxes.
The crisis of Ulster darkened and deepened. Sir Edward Carson and Galloper Smith were still addressing impassioned crowds and the impassioned crowds were becoming more and more impassioned. “Ulster will fight, and Ulster will be right,” shouted Galloper Smith, quoting Lord Randolph Churchill, who had said it first some thirty-odd years before. The whole situation was becoming very alarming, for people were beginning to whisper that it looked like civil war.
So with all that going on, the murder of an Austrian archduke towards the end of June at some place called Sarajevo in the Balkans could hardly be expected to interest us much. Where was Sarajevo anyway, and what was an Austrian archduke but a figure of Ruritanian fun?
But a month later the country was thoroughly startled. On 28th July Sir Edward Grey made a statement of sensational gravity in the House of Commons. Austria, he said, had rejected the reply by Serbia to an ultimatum demanding satisfaction for the assassination at Sarajevo. So anyone could see that international trouble of the utmost seriousness was swiftly boiling up.
The next few days were days of utter bewilderment. Events moved with confusing rapidity. Sombre shadows were obviously falling over Europe.
It was shocking, stupefying and incredible that we, who had been nurtured on the optimistic visions of Lord Tennyson, should be on the brink of a general European War.
But by the fourth of August, though not one European ruler and hardly one European statesman wanted it to happen, the shocking, stupefying and incredible thing in fact had happened. The great Powers of Europe had stumbled and blundered into a fight to the death, and the long grey ships of the British Fleet, fortunately assembled at Spithead for the King’s Review, put silently out to sea.

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God of many names- a sermon for Trinity Sunday 2014

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 15 June 2015: Year A, Trinity Sunday

SERMON
Texts: Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Matthew 6.24-34

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

There’s a joke about a man who was once asked what he had wanted to be when he grew up, who answered, ‘When I was growing up, I wanted to be an orphan’! Fortunately, for most of us and for most of the time, our parents provided security and love as we grew up. And so, on this Father’s Day, as on Mother’s Day, children say ‘thanks’ to their parents; and parents ponder what their children have meant to them. Family relationships are often deep and enduring. But they all have their ups and downs. Some are frankly disastrous, which is why not everyone feels they can celebrate Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day. For we humans are not perfect. Our relationships are not perfect. Not all children are perfect, and not all parents are perfect.

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A politician's dilemma: sermon for the Kirking of the Council 2013

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 8 September 2013: The Kirking of the Council

SERMON

Texts: John 18.28-19.16a (NRSV)

A politician’s dilemma

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

You might think that today’s readings are more appropriate for Good Friday than for the Kirking of the Council. But whenever I read or hear the sequence of stories in the Gospels about the last days of Christ’s life, I’m always struck by how public the events are. Today we’ve read of the encounter of Jesus with the most powerful government on earth at the time.

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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.

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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.

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Lambs among wolves: sermon for 7 July 2013- Proper 9

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 7 July 2013: Year C, Proper 9

SERMON
Texts: Galatians 6.1-5
Luke 10.1-11

Lambs among wolves

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

Usually in the Gospels, we hear of Jesus doing the preaching and healing, but in today’s reading he sends out some of his friends independently of him to preach in other places, with these words ringing in their ears: ‘There is a large harvest, but few workers to gather it in. Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest’.

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All one! A sermon for 14 April 2013

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 14 April 2013: Year C, The Third Sunday of Easter

SERMON
Texts: Galatians 3.23-29
John 20.1-18

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

Easter is not just one Sunday of the year. For there is a sense that every Sunday, for Christians, is the day of Resurrection. We know from the Gospel accounts that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, and that after being buried he lay in the grave over the Jewish Sabbath (our Saturday). On the third day, after the Sabbath, he rose again. And that’s why, at a very early stage, the followers of Jesus began to meet for worship, not on the Sabbath, but the day after- the day of resurrection, our Sunday- which the early Christians called ‘The Lord’s Day’. Every Sunday is Easter Sunday.

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