Roll Away the Stone 2011

On General Assembly Sunday (22 May 2011), the Church of Scotland took over a large part of Princes St Gardens for a time of Celebration, Inspiration and Discovery.

It was enjoyed by several thousand people, including a party from Greenock Westburn Church. After morning worship in Greenock and followed by a quick sandwich, we travelled to Edinburgh taking with us an inscribed stone to place on the cairn being built by all those attending the day.

The event was well planned with three venues having a programme throughout the afternoon.

On Stage C, at the Ross Fountain, there was an Easter Play scene both on stage and continuing along the Avenue. Following on there was interviews, story telling, a varied selections of music, puppets and an Assembly Revue full of mirth and laughter. Seeking understanding, a new definition of the Trinity was given as three churches with one minister.

The avenue was lined with a selection of stalls highlighting Alpha, Boys’ Brigade, Buskers, Christian Aid, Crossreach, Safeguarding Services and many others including  catering provided in a Souper Sunday Marque

Stage B was St Cuthbert’s Church which was used to offer space for reflection and a range of choirs and workshops. There was also an opportunity to climb the belfry tower.

The main arena was Stage A – The Ross Bandstand where music included the Novus Ensemble, Fischy Music, a Scottish African Massed Choir, Steve Macleod and the Exile Band.

The afternoon concluded when the Royal Victoria School Pipe Band (made up of children of servicemen and women) led crowds along the Avenue to the Bandstand for closing worship featuring the Netherlee Primary Schools Choir and a  massed choir led by the one and only Ian McCrorie

Thousands thronged the area to take part in this hour of worship during which the Moderator the Right Rev David Arnott addressed the assembled congregation.

At the conclusion of the Service, people who had brought a stone for the Cairn were invited to take away another stone and were asked to pray for the church or organisation it represents. Our representative uplifted the stone from St Clement’s Parish Church Dingwall Ross-shire. We will show their stone at our Service on Sunday and remember them in our Prayers.

The web site of St. Clements can be viewed here:-

With interest, we await news as to who has uplifted our stone.

On leaving, each person was given a postcard containing a reading from Ephesians  1: 18 – 20 and a Prayer as follows:-


Today in this place, my eyes have been opened, my imagination stirred, my hopes renewed and my spirit inspired.

Tomorrow in the places you call me to, may I see it anew through your eyes, may I dream anew your dream, may I anew your hope and may I walk in the peace, power and presence of your spirit.

Lord, let the stones be rolled away and the life of Christ be seen in all it’s glory.


Click on to individual photographs to obtain an enlarged view.

Finally, it must be said that our party thoroughly enjoyed their afternoon. There was every opportunity to meet members of many other churches.

The fish supper on the bus home was a delightful end to the day.