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Row over kirking cermony intensifies

The row over a traditional church ceremony in Inverness dating back to the 16th century intensified yesterday.

The presbytery of the Inverness Church of Scotland claims the church rather than Highland Council should decide the frequency of the ancient Kirking of the Council ceremony.

Members of the presbytery were 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.

Members of the presbytery of Inverness voted unanimously on Tuesday night to recommend that Old High St Stephen’s congregation continue its invitation to Inverness city committee to attend the annual kirking ceremony, one of the few such events remaining in Scotland.

The Rev Peter Donald, of Crown Church, yesterday said that, although the city committee had set up a working group to consider proposals for future kirkings, it was “purely a council group”, and it did not involve the church.

He added: “I just offer the comment that, while I think the council is fully entitled to proceed down this line, it is the prerogative of the church to pray for those in government and to invite the secular authority into the church.”

• Full story at the Aberdeen Press and Journal.

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