Old High St. Stephen's, Inverness

Welcome to Old High St Stephen's Church, Inverness

Month: November 2017

For the healing of the nations: Sermon for Remembrance Sunday 2017

Scripture Readings: Revelation 22.1-5

Matthew 5.38-48

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

In 2013, a few weeks before Remembrance Sunday, we were contacted by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. They had a project to put a sign on the gates of every graveyard containing one of their graves. We hadn’t realised it, but there is a World War One War Grave within the Old High Churchyard. That’s unusual, because most of those graves are, of course, near the battlefields where the soldiers died. Angus Fairrie of the Cameron Highlanders Association kindly provided some information about the young man who lies in our graveyard:

James Finlay McCulloch was born at 58 Shore Street, Inverness on 15 October 1894, the son of Finlay McCulloch and his wife Flora Smith. Finlay McCulloch worked as a fitter at the nearby foundry.
By 1911 Finlay McCulloch had moved with his family to Foyers where he worked as a fitter for the British Aluminium Company… His [then] 16 year old son James McCulloch had a job as a luggage carter at the Foyers Hotel.
In early 1915… James McCulloch volunteered for military service… Between March and July 1916, while serving with the 1st Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders, James McCulloch was badly wounded and was evacuated to the UK. He died of his wounds in the University War Hospital in Southampton on 21 July 1916.[1]

James McCulloch, baggage carter of Foyers, was 21 years old when he died. He is buried next to his parents and other members of his family in the Old High Kirkyard.

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Reformed… and always reforming!- a sermon for on the Reformation 5 November 2017

Scripture Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34

John 8:31-36

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

Sometimes the great figures from the past of the church- the Saints whom we remember at this time of year- can seem very remote. But not always.

Those who attend at St Stephen’s may perhaps remember a lovely lady named Renate Krebs, who died in 2010. She was a lovely, fascinating lady who had lived in Scotland for many years. Born in Germany in 1922, but went to live abroad during the Nazi era, marrying a Swiss gentleman. Later her home town was part of Communist East Germany, which made it hard to return home. A love of all things Celtic brought her to settle in Scotland. Renate was born in the town of Eisleben, and told me once that she had been baptised at the same font in the parish church as Eisleben’s most famous son, Martin Luther. How’s that for a link to history?

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