We are at the northern end of the Trotternish peninsula in north Skye, and are mainly a coastal community of crofting townships. The community is made up of those with strong local roots and those who have come from far and wide, drawn in various ways to island life. Gaelic is the native language and a vital part of the vibrant local culture: a rich mix of land, language, music, story and song. Our weekly gatherings reflect all that God has given us together.
The island is one of Scotland’s iconic tourist locations, and the single track, winding, road which links us together offers wonderful vistas of sea and mountains. There are 2 primary schools in the parish, and secondary education is at Portree High School.
We are part of the Presbytery (the name given to a geographical grouping of parishes) of Lochcarron – Skye. This Presbytery, although one of the smallest in terms of person power, has one of the largest land mass areas in Scotland.Parish Profile
The Rev. John Murray is our minister. This is his first charge. A Glaswegian, he is a Gaelic learner, and feels very privileged to be leading the congregation:
‘It’s great to be part of a church pushing forward with desire and mission, and spreading the good news of Jesus in the local community and beyond. The church, centred on the bible, and reflecting the culture and community of the area, really has so much to offer… and there is a great team here to take things forward.’
This is John’s second vocation. Trained in law he was a solicitor in private practice, latterly on the island. Having served as a Reader, the an Auxiliary Minister, he felt a call to the full-time ministry, and studied theology at the Highland Theological College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Gaelic is the native language of the island. Pre-school and primary education is available here through Gaelic, as are some subjects in Portree High School. Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College, is located in south Skye
We have monthly Gaelic services and incorporate Gaelic in our weekly services. Many in the congregation are native Gaelic speakers. The Church of Scotland is currently seeking to boost the use of Gaelic in worship, and our congregation is at the forefront of that, aiming to providing useful resource materials and support.
In December 2014 a group in our church published ‘Seinneamaid Còmhla’, (Let’s Sing Praise Together), a new Gaelic hymnbook is and we hope that it becomes the first of many projects to promote Gaelic worship in church and society.