Monday, 21 January 2013

Christian Unity Octave - 4

Just opposite Smithton Free Church we find another new building, this time it is St Columba's Roman Catholic Church.

Inverness, capital of the Highlands of Scotland, is one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe. The optimism and vigour of the city is well reflected in the enthusiasm and liveliness of the members of the young Catholic community of Culloden, on the Eastern outskirts of Inverness. Their new church of St Columba, is the flowering of many years of hoping and praying, of fellowship and fund-raising. It is the realisation of the vision which led Canon Duncan Stone RIP, thirty five years ago, to purchase an elevated site overlooking the beautiful Moray Firth and the mountains beyond.

For people in Scotland, and for emigré Scots world-wide, the name Culloden resonates with the tears and sadness of the conflicts of the mid-eighteenth century. The moorland site of the Battle of Culloden (1746) lies only a mile from our new church. But the rivalries and bitterness are a distant memory: today there is co-operation and open friendliness.

After years of worshipping in the local primary school, the parishioners at St Columba’s now have Mass in their own church building which was consecrated on All Saints' Day 2008.

Mass is celebrated in the church three times a week:

Sundays at 9.30 am
Wednesdays at 11.00 am followed by Exposition
Thursdays at 7.30 pm

Almighty and eternal God,
you have called us to be your people:
Bring us to closer unity and fellowship
with you and one another,
so that every member of your Church
may serve you in holiness and truth;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let us now sing a hymn which is very popular with the people of St Columba's:

I watch the sunrise lighting the sky,
Casting its shadows near.
And on this morning bright though it be,
I feel those shadows near me.

But you are always close to me
Following all my ways.
May I be always close to you
Following all your ways, Lord.

I watch the sunlight shine through the clouds,
Warming the earth below.
And at the mid-day, life seems to say:
I feel your brightness near me.
For you are always . . .

I watch the sunset fading away,
Lighting the clouds with sleep.
And as the evening closes its eyes,
I feel your presence near me.
For you are always . . .

I watch the moonlight guarding the night,
Waiting till morning comes.
The air is silent, earth is at rest
Only your peace is near me.
Yes, you are always...


Victoria said...

Does this church have kneelers?

Peter Simpson said...

No, there aren't any kneelers. A few members of the congregation do manage to kneel on the wooden floor for the Eucharistic Prayer or Exposition, but most sit down.