Coming up at Smithton this weekend

This weekend at Smithton our services will be led by Colin Dow, the minister at Glasgow City Free Church.

Before then our Friday Night JAM the youth club for those in P5-P7 takes place in the church tonight from 6-7pm followed by Friday Night Youth from 7.30-9.30pm also in the church cafe.

We’d love to have you join us for our services on Sunday too, our services take place in the church at 11am and 6pm and last for approximately one hour. If you’d like more information you can check out the details on the website or send us an e-mail here.

A roundup of the weekend – a look at the week ahead.

Yesterday at Smithton, Derek Lamont from St Columba’s Church in Edinburgh was leading our services. If you missed out on the sermons, or if you would like to listen to them again, you can now find them online. You can stream the audio file directly here, or watch the video here.

We also had an update in the church bulletin on how we are working as a church to revise our communications. If you would like to make sure your contact details are up to date, you can do that by filling out this quick online form.

Our Community Groups meet this week for a time of Bible study and fellowship on Wednesday night. These groups take place in different homes of members of the church and new people will always be made welcome. You can download a copy of the study notes for this week here, or send an e-mail to Ian MacGillivray to find out more information about joining a group.

This Sunday at Smithton – 21st February

This Sunday at Smithton we’re looking forward to having Derek Lamont from St Columba’s church in Edinburgh coming to lead our services.

Derek will be preaching on a passage in the book of Deuteronomy (ch 6 vs 1-9) in our morning service, and from the book of John (ch 2 vs 1-11) at our evening service. If you are a first time visitor to church, or to Smithton church, we’d love to make you feel welcome.

We’ll also have an update available to members of the church about some updates to our communications, including a new website and weekly e-mail which will be coming very soon! You can help us make sure we have the right contact details for you by using this form – here.

inverness evangelical church

This Sunday at Smithton – 07th February

This coming Sunday at Smithton our church services will be led by John Nicholls and Colin Macleod.

John will be teaching on the book of Hosea and chapter 14, with a sermon title of ‘How to get back up’ our regular Sunday School for children of primary school age meets during the morning service, as well as a creche for children aged 0-3 years.

In the evening our services will be led by Colin Macleod, our interim moderator. He will be looking at the subject of Fencing the Table – A Fresh Perspective, based on a passage in Matthew ch 22. We will also be celebrating communion in our evening service together.

After both services there is an opportunity to meet together afterwards in the cafe lounge for a cup of tea/coffee – all are welcome to join us.

If you need more information then send us an e-mail below, we’ll be happy to help.


send us an e-mail

A visit from Chad – the midweek meeting for prayer at Smithton

Each Wednesday the church meets together for a time of prayer, bible study and fellowship and all are invited to join us.

Every second Wednesday, our community groups meet, when we get together in small groups in different homes across Inverness – on the other Wednesday, we meet in the church as a large group.

At tomorrow nights meeting – (03rd February) Jill Mackinnon, who works in bringing the good news of Jesus to people in Chad will be coming to share some stories of her work. You can read more about Jill and her work on the WEC website – or come along tomorrow night. The meeting takes place in the church cafe lounge tomorrow night from 7.30pm.

Smithton Vacancy Update – A Q&A with Colin Macleod

On Sunday morning (24th January) Colin Macleod, the Interim Moderator for the congregation, gave an update on the current vacancy of a senior minister in Smithton Church. If you missed out on hearing it, or would like a reference on what was said, read on. We spent time with Colin to find out a little more about the search for a new minister.


Can you tell us a little about your role in Smithton at the moment?

My role is probably best described as a ‘stand in minister’ whose main role is to help the congregation find a new minister. A big part of that is organising other ministers to come and preach each week and to provide some support specifically to the staff and leadership at Smithton.
I do that along with my other full time responsibilities as minister at the Free North so you won’t see as much as me as you would a full time minister but I’m here to assist especially with the church staff and elders as they continue leading the congregation.

As a Presbyterian church we have both the right and responsibiity to support other churches in the presbytery and to be supported by them. Presbytery works like the parent and helps each of the family members (individual churches) to be supported.


And what process we are going through to find a new minister?

The presbytery provides a guideline to the process that we would normally go through and which Smithton church is currently going through.

That includes preaching the congregation vacant which we did in October, and to then help appoint a vacancy committee to help identify ministers who the congregation would like to hear preach.

Once we have worked through the list of preachers that have been suggested, and those who have said that they would come, we’ll meet again to see if there is a consensus in the congregation.

Members of the presbytery would then be asked to come and ‘moderate in a call’ – that being to help clarify if the congregation can be in broad agreement about who they would like to call to be their minister.


Is there a timescale attached to the process?

There isn’t – the vacancy committee and the leadership of the church are keen that we progress as well as we can – but there isn’t a predefined timetable. Currently we have different visiting ministers coming to lead the congregation each week until the end of March.


Why do we have a vacancy committee – and who are they?

They are a group appointed by the congregation at a meeting that was held last October.

Typically that would be a representation of the congregation in addition to each of the elders – but the vacancy committee we have is deliberately designed to be a little smaller.

There are eight members of the vacancy committee incorporating a broad spectrum of people in the church. It is their job to carry the suggestions and opinions of the congregation to vacancy committee meetings, and to help me understand who the congregation want to hear preach.

The vacancy committee are: George Maclean, Jim Chalmers, Iain Mackay, Laurie Chancellor, Ali Macdonald, Mhairi Mackintosh, Keith Nicolson and myself.

You can pass suggestions of names or get an update from any of the members of the vacancy committee at any point – and they meet once a month.

You can also e-mail either Keith Nicolson or Ali Macdonald from the link at the bottom of this article, as the two members of vacancy committee who are on the church staff.


I’ve heard we’re also looking to appoint an assistant minister – can you tell us the process for that?

We can’t get our assistant minister until we our appoint main minister. The process for that is that presbytery would discuss and hopefully approve the application, it would then go to the mission board to review the process and then the General Assembly would discuss it in May.

While permission can be sought from the General Assembly to approve the idea of the assistant minister for Smithton, the decision of who would fill that role would come after the senior minister in the congregation is appointed, as they would likely have a heavy influence in who they would like to work alongside them.

An assistant minister is also appointed on a 3 year term to be reviewed by presbytery/assembly every 3 years.


Does the minister we agree to call have to be a member of the Free Church of Scotland?

The candidate wouldn’t necessarily have to be a current member of the Free Church, but they would have to be prepared to join the Free Church as an ordained minister before receiving a call.


Is there any other criteria of anybody that we want to call?

As a large and active church we think that we would need someone who would enjoy working with the church staff and leadership, and who would know how to make the most of their gifts and abilities.

Because of this, we have discussed as a Kirk Session and vacancy committee that we would like to think of people with prior experience in another church and those who have been in their current charge for approximately 3 years at least.

That is not an official rule of the process however, but a guideline to help us as we consider potential candidates.

It’s important to remember how varied the life of a minister is and how broad are the tasks that he is expected to deal with: take school assemblies, funerals, weddings, attend and lead church courts, relate to people of all ages and backgrounds, able to help people deal with the challenges that they face in life, over and above preaching the Bible in a clear, contemporary and Christ focused way.

Ultimately we are doing the practical work of searching for a good candidate but committing ourselves to seeking God’s will for the right person.


What can individual members do to help in the process?

We need to be praying actively for the church and we do that individually and we should be doing it collectively. Throughout this process we should be in prayer for God to lead our hearts and minds throughout the process and also to be praying for the men we are inviting to come and preach.

We may also need to be sacrificial; we are a large congregation and we won’t necessarily hear everybody that we might like to through this process. We have an opportunity to ask not who we would like personally, but who is the right person for the wider church, and the community that we have the opportunity to share the Gospel with?

Patience – we need to work with patience. As a vacancy committee we are working to progress the vacancy as quickly as we can but we simply don’t know the timescales that may be involved. Hopefully they will be short – but we need patience.


I’ve got questions about the vacancy – who do I speak to about it?

Any of the vacancy committee would be happy to hear from you. They are: George Maclean, Jim Chalmers, Iain Mackay, Laurie Chancellor, Ali Macdonald, Mhairi Mackintosh, Keith Nicolson and myself.


Who is coming to preach in Smithton over the next few months?

Along with those who have preached since the congregation was first ‘preached vacant’, the following ministers are lined up to preach until the middle of March are:

February 7th Rev. Dr J. Nicholls (a.m.) Rev. C. Macleod (p.m.) – communion
February 14th Rev. Dr David Kirk, Assistant, Kilmallie
February 21st Rev. Derek Lamont, St Columba’s, Edinburgh
February 28th Rev. Dr. Colin Dow, Glasgow City Church
March 6th Rev. Roddie Rankin, Plockton and Kyle
March 13th Dr Phil Hill, Wales Evangelical School of Theology


Anything else?

It’s worth determining that while the word ‘vacant’ refers to the senior minister’s role within the congregation, the church itself is anything but!

As a church you are supported by the presbytery, hence the reason of my role as Interim-moderator, the remainder of the church staff are working as hard and as well as normal, and the Kirk Session and Deacons Court are likewise.

One of the other things that is always crucial in any time of vacancy, and especially in a place the size of Smithton, is to show unity. By being unified as a body of believers you fulfill the command to love one another – and it won’t do any harm to a prospective minister sizing up the health of the congregation either!


If you have more questions or would like to be in touch with any of the vacany committee they are: George Maclean, Jim Chalmers, Iain Mackay, Laurie Chancellor, Ali Macdonald, Mhairi Mackintosh, Keith Nicolson and Colin Macleod. You can e-mail Ali and Keith at the links below.



 e-mail Ali e-mail Keith

Looking at the week ahead

The church is a busy hub of babies, toddlers, parents and carers this morning as our Monday morning session of Fun Time Toddlers meets. It also takes place on a Tuesday morning from 10am – 11.30am, and new toddlers and parents are always welcome.

In addition to a range of Bible studies for men and women in the church, our community groups also meet this Wednesday evening – if you’ve never been before you would be made very welcome – drop us an e-mail in the church office and we would be happy to connect you.

Community groups are a great way to meet people in the church and build relationships that help refresh us in the middle of the week – over a time of Bible Study and time to pray  and meet together.

This week, the community groups meet at:

  • Woodside – Michael and Fiona Mackenzie’s
  • Cradlehall – Vince and Ruth Tough’s
  • Westhill – Isobel MacLeod’s
  • Inverness West – Jim and Ishbel Eglinton’s
  • Inverness South – Etta Campbell’s
  • Balloch – Kenny and Sandra Mackenzie’s
  • Fortrose – Geoff and Morven Hulks

You can also download a copy of the study notes for this weeks study – here.


Download the study notes send us an e-mail

This Sunday at Smithton – 24th January

This Sunday at Smithton our services will be led by Chris Smart, minister of Resolis and Ferintosh Free Church.

We’re looking forward to having Chris join us to lead us in our worship services, and we’d love to have you worship with us as well.

After the morning service we’ll be having a soup and pudding lunch to raise funds for the work of Dwelling Places and The Wakisa pregnancy crisis centre in Uganda. It’s also a great opportunity to get know people in the congregation a little better.

The new Friday Youth Club also meets tonight from 7.30pm – 9.30pm for anybody in Secondary School – if that’s you or someone you know of – the church is the place to be tonight from 7.30pm!


Send us an e-mail

Listen Again – Yesterday’s sermons from Smithton Church now online

Smithton Church is always a busy place, with meetings and events taking place throughout the week for a variety of groups of all ages.

This morning our Toddler group was one of the groups in using the building, and they’ll meet again tomorrow morning (Tuesday) from 10-11.30am. New parents and carers are always welcome to come along with babies and toddlers, each Monday and Tuesday morning.

Next Sunday our visiting minister will be Chris Smart form Resolis and Ferintosh Free Church, Colin Macleod, our interim moderator and minister of The Free North will also be giving us an update on the ministerial vacancy at Smithton.

We’ll also be having a fundraising soup and pudding lunch after the morning service for work of Dwelling Places and Wakissa Crisis Pregnancy Centre.

And if you missed out on yesterday’s sermons at Smithton or would like to listen again, you can listen to them online here – or watch the videos of the sermons, here.

This Sunday at Smithton Church – 17th January

This Sunday at Smithton Church our services will be led by Calum Iain Macleod, minister at Back Free Church on the Isle of Lewis.

If you are a regular attender at Smithton or if this is your first time, you will hopefully find that everyone is welcome to come and worship with us at Smithton. Our desire is to worship God together, to learn about what the Bible has to say to our daily lives and to share in community together.

There are a range of activities in place for childcare, from a creche for newborns – toddlers and a range of Sunday School classes for school aged children through to P7. We also have a quiet room for nursing mothers or those who require a little more space, the service can be viewed on a television screen in the room to ensure you can still take part.

Services take place at 11am and 6pm each Sunday and are also followed by a time to meet for Coffee and Tea after each service, we’d love to see you there.