Kirking of the Council cancelled

The annual Kirking of the Council parade and church service which was being planned for Sunday 5 September has been cancelled for the second year running due to COVID-19.

Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area Cllr Helen Carmichael said: “The Kirking of the Council is a long-held city tradition and it is with great regret that we have decided, with the agreement of Church Leaders, to cancel this year’s Kirking parade and church service. This decision does not diminish our commitment to the value of this much loved and respected annual event. We feel that this is the only sensible decision to take while Covid rates are extremely high at the present time.”

The historic Kirking of the Council - which was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 – was being planned to take place in a smaller and revised format with a reduced parade and Kirking service which was to be held in Ness Bank Church led by the Rev. Fiona Smith.

Dr Jenny Wares, Consultant in Public Health Medicine (Health Protection), said: "Cases across the NHS Highland area are widespread and are continuing to increase with NHS Highland currently having the sixth highest rates in Scotland. We are urging everyone to please remain cautious and minimise contacts during this period of high levels to try to prevent further spread in our communities. In addition to trying to minimise our contact with others, there are still lots of things we can all do to help limit the spread even though many of the previous restrictions have eased. Wearing face masks when inside or in crowded areas, regular hand washing, regular testing using LFD tests when you have no symptoms and, when invited, please come forward to get vaccinated. All of these will help us in keeping the COVID numbers down.

“Members of the public are also being asked to continue to be vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19. The typical symptoms are a new continuous cough, a high temperature or fever and a loss of, or change in, normal taste or smell. However, people with COVID-19 can present with a wide range of symptoms including headache, sore muscles and joints, tiredness, sore throat, cold-like symptoms and diarrhoea and vomiting. Anyone that becomes unwell should isolate immediately and seek a PCR test.”

Due to the current upsurge in COVID cases across the Highlands, the Council, taking a precautionary approach, has cancelled this event, and will be reviewing other similar council events and activities at this time, based on risk assessment, and taking into account advice from Public Health and Environmental Health.

1 Sep 2021