TMF 2017


The Tiree Baptist Church, Church of Scotland and visitors to the island all joined together at TMF 2017 for a morning worship service in the Community Tent.  Tea, coffee and delicious home baking were served before the service, and the  congregation then enjoyed music, drama and a presentation about Mainly Music in Lebanon (for which a collection was taken at the end of the service), whilst  youngsters at the service took part in a craft activity.  The service closed with prayers and a chance to admire the youngsters’ craftwork.  More information about the Mainly Music organisation can be found here:

Many thanks to all who played a part in organising this fantastic service, and to all who attended too!

(photos courtesy  of Alan Millar)










Letter from Kirk Session and Congregational Board

Message from Tiree Parish Church: 

We recently wrote to members and adherents of the church to share news and update them on progress in different areas. As we seek to be a church for everyone who lives or spends time on Tiree, we wanted to share this with the readers of our website.


You will probably be aware that in September our minister, Rev Elspeth MacLean, was called to be minister of Forth St Paul’s, in the Presbytery of Lanark. Since then our worship has been led by visiting ministers and local volunteers. We hope you will join us in thanking Elspeth for her ministry on Tiree and praying for her in her new post.

In January an interim moderator, Rev Dr Iain Barclay, was appointed to support and guide the congregation during the vacancy. He has begun to put in place the things needed to begin the process of seeking a new minister. The first of these is the compiling of an electoral register of those who will be able to vote for the nominating committee and for the approval of a new minister. If you have had this letter sent to you because you are a member or an adherent of the church then your name will automatically added to this list. If you know anyone who has not received this letter but would like to have their name added to the list of members or adherents they should contact an elder for more information. The list will be attested at a meeting on the 21st April.

 Right to Call ….. Good News!

As of 3rd April, the congregation has been given permission by presbytery to call a minister to Tiree. The nominating committee to oversee this process will be elected on Sunday 23rd April 2017 at close of worship.

 Renovation of Heylipol Church

The work at Heylipol is not yet completed. Much work has been done to the exterior of the building and there has been considerably less water entering the building. Bids have been sought for the work on the interior of the building and the Congregational Board is continuing to work on this.

 Upcoming Events

Easter this year will be on the 16th April, and we look forward to celebrating Christ’s resurrection with as many of you as possible. Details of services for Holy Week and Easter, and all other services, are published here on our website and in An Tirisdeach. Please note that there will be no service at Heylipol Church on Easter Sunday. Instead the Church of Scotland will join the Baptists for a service at An Talla at 11.00am.

Tiree Music Festival will take place 15-17th July this year, and we look forward to again being part of the Christian presence at the festival and taking our worship onto the festival site on Sunday morning.

 How you can be involved

 Prayer and Worship

We continue to meet each Sunday morning for worship in Heylipol Church. Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. When we meet together for worship, we invite an encounter with the Living God. If you’ve not been to church for a while, we’d love for you to come and share worship with us, whether it’s for the first time or something you’ve done many times before. If you have trouble with getting to church, please contact an elder and we’ll see what we can do to help.

God is not just found in our shared worship, but in our own prayers. We would encourage you to pray both for yourself and those you love, for our church and for the wider world. If you’ve not prayed much before, the Church of Scotland website has some advice:

 Practical Help

If you’ve got some spare time and you’d like to help, it’s a great way to serve one another and to serve God. Some examples:

– reading the Bible during worship

– cleaning the church

– cutting the grass

– providing flowers

– administration

– operating and maintaining the sound system

– leading part of a service

– playing a musical instrument or singing


We can give in lots of ways, all of them valued, but some of the things the church does costs money. As well as paying for repairs and running costs for the church and manse, the congregation is responsible for paying part of the cost of having a minister on the island. The full cost of this is well in excess of £50 000 a year (that’s not what our minister gets paid!) but much of this cost is generously met by larger parishes on the mainland, and the Church of Scotland asks us for around £12 000 towards this. Over the last few years, Tiree Parish Church has spent more on day-to-day running costs than has been received as donations and we have reached the point where the reserves for this type of spending have been exhausted. While we would always seek to meet the cost of ministry from the members of the church, we’d welcome any help with making sure that we can continue to have a minister serving the island into the future. Consequently we are asking whether you would consider making a regular donation by standing order. Whether this is £2 a month or £200, it will help us to continue to serve God and the Isle of Tiree into the future. Forms are available at Heylipol Church, or alternatively can be downloaded here.

You can keep in touch with what is happening via the church website, through notices in An Tirisdeach and, of course, by joining us for worship on a Sunday morning. We look forward to seeing you soon

May God bless you, this day and always.

Kirk Session and Congregational Board

Tiree Parish Church

Contemplations During Holy Week

The following excerpts are taken from the Contemplative Services taking place during Holy Week:

Holy Monday

‘Those who choose to do my will will receive from me a memorial and a name in my own house and within my walls; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.’ – Isaiah 56:4-5,7

Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ cleared the temple of those who desecrated the holy place. Cleanse our hearts from greed and selfishness, that we may become the temple of the living God, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Holy Tuesday

‘Let the gospel of Christ dwell among you in all its richness: teach and instruct one another with all the wisdom it gives you.’ – Colossians 3:16

O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life. May our lives be so transformed by his passion that we may witness to his grace; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Holy Wednesday

‘God, hear my cry; listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to you with fainting heart; lift me up and set me high on a rock.’ – Psalm 61:1-2

Lord God, your Son our Saviour gave his body to be whipped and turned his face for men to spit upon. Give your servants grace to accept suffering for his sake, confident of the glory that will be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Services During Holy Week

The services during Holy Week will be as follows:

Monday 10th April at 7.30pm – Contemplative service in Heylipol Church

Tuesday 11th April at 7.30pm – Contemplative service in Heylipol Church

Wednesday 12th April at 7.30pm – Contemplative service in Heylipol Church

The three services above will each last around 30 minutes and will include readings, chants and periods of silence in preparation for the commemoration of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Maundy Thursday, 13th April at 7.30pm – Service of Holy Communion (led by Colin Cuthbert )

Good Friday, 14th April at 2pm – Contemplative service in Heylipol Church

Good Friday, 14th April at 7.30pm – Joint service with the Baptist Church at Baugh

Easter Day, 16th April – Sunrise service with the Baptist Church at 6.10am at Baugh

Easter Day, 16th April at 11.00am – Joint Service with Baptist Church at An Talla

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Matt.24 v 42




God’s Love – a Sermon by Rev. Charles MacKinnon

It’s been said that the ‘love of God is the deepest expression of his character and Jesus Christ’s total giving of himself, shown supremely in his obedient suffering and death on the cross, reveals God’s amazing love for sinners’(Thematic Study Bible).

Love requires a relationship to blossom and mature; it cannot thrive in a vacuum. God has always been in a relationship, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit together, yet one God. God’s love is eternal; it did not begin when we appeared on the scene. God said to Israel, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah.31:3). Our love is time-limited: the seeds of our love are planted when we get to know one another. Our love is so small compared to God’s everlasting love.

Now God in his wisdom chose to create human beings who are capable of a love relationship with him and it must have broken his heart when Adam and Eve chose to disobey him. We know how it hurts when our love is either rejected or spurned; our heart aches and often that’s it, end of relationship. Could God have done that? Yes, I believe he could, but his love is strong and resilient and he keeps on loving even when his love is rejected. There may be times when we are given the strength and grace to keep on loving against the odds.

Now, if our friends knew us as God knows us, how many friends would we have, if any? God, who knew us before we were even born (Psalm 139), knows us and yet loves us. Moses tells Israel. “The Lord did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! It was simply because the Lord loves you” (Deuteronomy7:7,8 nlt). It’s not the size of our bank balance, or our talents, job or personality, or because we live in this Parish – it’s nothing to do with that, God just loves us. He loves us and can’t help it. He loves us and does not deny it and he’s not ashamed of it. Have you ever been ashamed of loving somebody? Have we ever been ashamed of acknowledging our love for Jesus? How often have we hurt God, yet he’s never been ashamed of loving us.

Time and again, God had to lovingly discipline Israel. God’s love does not make him blind to our sin– God, the bible tells us, is a consuming fire, he loathes sin for it tears at our relationship with him.

Mum and dad cry from the depths about how they loathe drugs for stealing their child from them. The distraught wife sobs as she loathes the drink that robbed her of her husband and his love. As they weep, Jesus weeps with them.

Now, it is possible for us to believe that Jesus’ love is solely for the ‘good folk’ who attend church when, in fact, God’s love is offered to all people. “For God so loved the world” (John.3:16), we are told and the Bible also tells us that we are ALL sinners who have fallen far short of God’s set standard and glory as seen in Jesus(Romans 13:23,24). It’s not how we match up against so and so that matters, it’s how we match up to Jesus and that’s where we fail miserably.

It’s always good to give to those whom we love. God gives and gives and his love is expressed in many practical ways but, as we know, he revealed it in the most awesome way by giving the most awesome gift. Only God could ever do this and Jesus is God’s unique act of love. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John.4:9,10).Jesus is the visible expression of God’s everlasting love for you, for me and for all. God put on humanity and came to us in Jesus to speak to us, to live with us and to die for us, for our sin on Calvary. ‘How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure’ (CMP988). It hurts when a love gift is declined, doesn’t it? Think of how much it hurts God when we choose to reject Jesus. In rejecting Jesus, we embrace a lost eternity. ‘You don’t have to go to hell’, says Jesus, ‘for I have gone there for you and all you have to do is believe in me and be saved’.

Jesus is the ultimate expression of God’s love and in he lived and died for that love. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we crave to be loved, we were created to know love and it’s wonderful when we can express our love for one another but deep down, we crave to know the love of God, the one who created us for a love relationship with himself.

In an African village there was a fire one night in one of the small straw huts and the family perished except for a baby boy. In the darkness a person rushed into the blazing hut and pulled the baby out and the child emerged unscathed. In the morning the elders of the village had a problem as the child had just been left lying on the ground and the rescuer had disappeared. The elders had to decide what was to be done with the child – they thought it was a sign of almost divine providence and a dispute arose – the wealthy thought they should have the privilege and honour of raising the child, others who had wives who were particularly good mothers thought they should be privileged to raise the child. Many had different reasons as to why they should raise the child. Suddenly a seemingly insignificant man spoke up and claimed to have a superior claim to all the others – and he showed them his hands and they were burnt for he was the one who rescued the child. Who could possibly have a superior claim? Friends, only Jesus has scars on his hands because of his love for us – the love of Jesus is the love we look for, the love we need – the love of the One who gave himself for us.

To know that the ‘love of God is the deepest expression of his character’ is one thing but it’s another thing to know his love. We need to allow God’s sacrificial love to penetrate beyond the crust of what we believe, to renew our lives, to enable us to love one another as Christ has loved us and to empower us to practical expressions of his love in the world about us. Amen.

Ash Wednesday

There will be a service of Evening Prayer with the Liturgy of Penitence for Ash Wednesday at 7.30pm on 1st March at Heylipol Church.

“If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

John 1:9

All are welcome to attend this service.


World Day of Prayer

World Day of Prayer is an international, ecumenical, prayer movement initiated and carried out by Christian women in more than 180 countries and over 1000 languages. Every year Christians of many traditions and all ages, celebrate a common day of prayer on the first Friday in March.

World Day of Prayer services are held all around the world, and on Tiree the service will take place at 7.30 pm on Friday 3rd March 2017 at the Baptist Church, Baugh. If anyone would like to do a reading for the service, please contact Ursula Millar.

Everyone is very welcome to attend.

Two New Elders Ordained

On Sunday 31st May two new elders were ordained at Tiree Parish Church during the morning service. Session and members of the congregation welcomed Annette MacKinnon and Elspeth Gillies as elders for Tiree Parish Church.  The service was followed with refreshments and a time of fellowship. We wish Annette and Elspeth every happiness in their new roles.

Rev. Elspeth with new elders, Annette MacKinnon and Elspeth Gillies

Rev. Elspeth with new elders, Annette MacKinnon and Elspeth Gillies

Rev. Elspeth with elder, Mr Neil Munn

Rev. Elspeth with elder, Mr Neil Munn

Ordination of  Service New Elders

Ordination Service of New Elders

Christian Meditation Day

We have a small group who meet to practice Christian Meditation each Friday afternoon in Tiree. We have now been meeting for a little over a year, and are delighted to announce that Alex Holmes of the Scottish region WCCM (World Community of Christian Meditators) is coming to Tiree to give a day’s teaching on Saturday 23rd May.

Christian Meditation is a tradition grounded in Biblical wisdom, the early Christian desert monks, and the spiritual classic The Cloud of Unknowing.

As well as the spiritual benefits, the physical benefits of meditation are now well recognised by the medical profession. These include reducing high blood pressure, reducing stress and depression, improving sleep and relaxation and even increasing one’s natural immunity.

Everyone is welcome to come on Saturday 23rd May. We will meet in the manse at 10.30am. There will be no charge for the day, but anyone wishing to come for the whole day is asked to bring a packed lunch. Teas and coffees will be provided. The morning will be aimed at complete beginners with the afternoon taking us a little deeper into the tradition, but everyone is welcome to come for part or the whole of the day.

For further details contact Rev Elspeth MacLean on 220377.

Easter Services 2015

Holy Monday 30th March contemplative service in Heylipol church at 7.30pm.

Holy Tuesday 31st March contemplative service in Heylipol church at 7.30pm.

Holy Wednesday 1st April contemplative service in Heylipol church at 7.30pm.

The three services above will each last around 30 minutes and will include readings, chants and periods of silence in preparation for the commemoration of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Maundy Thursday, 2nd April.

School Easter Service, 1.30pm in Heylipol church.

Service of Holy Communion and foot washing. In Heylipol church at 7.30pm.

Good Friday, 3rd April.

Contemplative service in Heylipol church from 2.00-3.00pm.

Good Friday evening service. An Talla at 7.30pm.

Easter Day  5th April.

Easter sunrise service. This will be held on the beach in front of the manse (weather permitting). At 6.30am for sunrise around 6.47am. Followed by bacon rolls and tea/coffee in the manse.

Church of Scotland morning service, 11.30am in Heylipol church. All age service.

Baptist church morning service 11.00am in An Talla.

Everyone is always welcome at our services. Come and hear about the miracle of Easter!

“He is not here; He has risen!”