Lovers of the Highland Capital’s historic heritage are meeting at the city’s Old High Church next week to promote its welfare and conservation for present and future generations.
Enthusiasts have already formed a new secular organisation to raise funds for the ancient building’s improvement, and to advertise it as a local cultural and tourist destination.
The Grade-A listed church stands on the site where St Columba is said to have converted the Pictish King Brude to Christianity in 565.
The new group, Friends of the Old High Church, is to hold an open meeting to launch itself formally and to welcome those wishing to join, with a talk from the Old High’s historian and author of the informative booklet Tales of the Old High, Ross Martin.
The group has received the endorsement of minister the Rev Peter Nimmo and his Kirk Session, although they have no official connection with it apart from joining as individual members.
Church elder Christina Cameron, who has led the bid to found the group, and who has been elected its first chairperson, said that the oldest church in Inverness was a vital part of the City’s heritage, but like all historic buildings was very costly to maintain.
“Our group’s mission is to ensure that the building will be secured for future generations and continue to contribute actively to the spiritual, cultural and social life of the city. This is why we invite all who love the long and varied history of Inverness to join.”
The group has set up its own website, separate from, but loosely linked to, the official website of Old High St Stephen’s congregation, which worships in the Old High and in its sister church on Southside Road.
Rev Nimmo said: “If people would like to be involved in activities like being guides in the church, or in stewarding events organised by the Friends, they’ll be very welcome.”
Tuesday’s meeting begins at 7.30pm.