Old High St. Stephen's, Inverness

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Tag: Remembrance

The path of peace: sermon for Remembrance Sunday 2019

Scripture Readings: Micah 4.1-5

Luke 1.67-80

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

Yesterday, 9 November, is a date of great significance for Germany. As the media has been reminding us, it was the date that the Communist authorities opened up the Berlin Wall, 30 years ago, in 1989. But 9 November is also the anniversary of other historic events which led to that war, so that it has become known as ‘the Day of Fate’.

It was on 9 November 1918 that Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated, making possible the Armistice a few days later, on 11 November, which ended the fighting of the Great War, and which we in this country keep as our Remembrance Day. On 9 November 1923, an attempted coup d’état in Munich the so called Beer Hall Putsch- but brought Hitler national attention. By 1938, his Nazi party was in power, and 9 November that year they carried out a pogrom which saw synagogues and Jewish shops destroyed, Jews beaten and murdered, and the start of the removal of the Jews into concentration camps.

So it is ironic that the fall of the Berlin wall should have happened on 9 November. That event finally ended the division of the country which had prevailed since the Second World War, a war caused, of course, by aggression racism, antisemitism and extremist nationalism.

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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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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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