The future of an ancient religious ceremony in Inverness dating back to the 16th century remains unclear following a meeting of the Inverness Church of Scotland Presbytery.
Members of the presbytery decided to note without comment a suggestion that a minister joins a new Highland Council working group set up last autumn to consider the future of the Kirking of the Council ceremony and parade. The presbytery was last year shocked when Inverness Provost Bob Wynd decided to suspend the colourful event, at which members and officials parade to the Old High Church to affirm they will serve God and their fellow citizens.
Mr Wynd made the unilateral decision ahead of last year’s ceremony in August to suspend the event for the remainder of the current council’s tenure of office, which ends in May 2011.
The working group was formed by the Inverness city committee to pursue recommendations by officials that the Kirking ceremony might in future be turned into a major civic event, with added celebrations to make it an “inclusive” multi-faith event.
But presbytery members reaffirmed their insistence that the Kirking service, which dates back to 1602, and is held in the Old High Church, was a matter for the minister only.
Organisation of the traditional parade by councillors between the Town House and the church is strictly, however, the council’s remit.
• Full story at the Aberdeen Press & Journal.