Lunga and a Ceilidh!

On Saturday morning the sky was blue, the sea like glass… an ideal day for a sail. A huddle of Tirisdeachs and members of the Oban & Lorne Strathspey and Reel Society clambered onto the good ship Islander (a catamaran actually) for a jaunt to the bonny Isle of Lunga. As we motored along at a not insubstantial pace, we were joined by a pod of around 100 dolphins. These curious and friendly creatures played beside our boat whilst cameras clicked, though they weren’t easy to photograph as they were so quick in the water! Not to be outdone, a minky whale swam silently past, but was unmoved by the commotion and disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. On arrival at Lunga we picked our way across the boulders on the shore and made for higher ground. It was a beautiful day for a picnic and having found a sunny spot amongst the bluebells we sat down to eat. However the lure of sandwiches lost its appeal when puffins congregated around us. These brightly painted birds are so tame and charismatic, and seemed quite happy to strike a pose for the camera! Two hours seemed to pass so quickly and then we were back on our boat and homeward bound… but our idyllic day was not yet over.

On Saturday evening An Talla opened its doors to the community and the Oban & Lorne Strathspey and Reel Society treated us to a programme of traditional Scottish music. Fiddlers, box players, guitarists and a pianist joined together to fill the hall with beautiful haunting melodies followed by upbeat, toe tapping, hand clapping tunes. Our own young Tiree people also took a turn to entertain us – what a talent we have here on the island! All profits from the concert will go to the Heylipol Fabric Appeal Fund and we would like to say a big thank you to the Oban & Lorne Strathspey Society for their generosity, and also to the young musicians who took part and all who supported this event. (Photos from the trip to Lunga and of the concert are in the Gallery section of the website).

Fiddlers Concert

Saturday 31st May 2014 at 7.30 pm – An Talla.

Traditional Scottish tunes played by the Oban & Lorne Strathspey & Reel Society, plus music and songs from local artists. Proceeds from this concert will go to the Fabric Appeal for Heylipol Church.

The fiddlers will also be performing at the morning Church service on Sunday 1st June which starts at the earlier time of 11 am.

Everyone is very welcome to attend both events!

In the wake of saints…

Why not join us for a weekend exploring and celebrating Tiree’s early Christian heritage and significance with visitors from St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Leeds.

The programme of events is as follows:

Friday 16th May at 7.30 pm (An Talla) – An illustrated presentation “The Hebrides: Cradle of Light and pilgrim destination” by Rev David Pickering, introduced and chaired by Dr John Holliday, with question time/discussion.

Saturday 17th May at 10.00 am (St Patrick’s Temple) –  A pilgrims walk along the beach to St Patrick’s Temple, Balephuil Bay with an exploration of the site and concluding with a simple service with Holy Communion (for those who wish), jointly led by Rev Elspeth MacLean and Rev David Pickering.  Meet at 10 am at the car parking area in the dunes mid-way along the beach.  Please dress in appropriate clothing for the day.

Sunday 18th May at 11.00 am – A pilgrimage themed service at An Talla with the combined Tiree churches and visitors from St Andrew’s.

Sunday 18th May at 6.00 pm – An open reflective evening service at Heylipol Church concluding the pilgrimage weekend.

Everyone is welcome at any or all of the above events and services. For more information contact Rev Elspeth MacLean on 01879 220377.




World Day of Prayer 2014

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, beginning in Tonga and New Zealand in the east and continuing throughout the day to Samoa and Alaska in the west. We bring the needs of the world, and of the writing country in particular, before Almighty God knowing that He will hear and answer us, as we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

God invites us to have a prayer relationship with Himself, but He also expects us to have concerned relationships with our neighbours, throughout the world. Prayer must be accompanied by action, as God moves our hearts and directs our thoughts.

Friday, 7th March 2014  – 7.30 pm

Heylipol Church

The service comes from Egypt and the theme is:
Streams in the Desert

Tears and Hymns at Kirkapol Church’s Last Stand

A poignant last service was held by the congregation of Tiree Parish Church to mark the closure of Kirkapol Church which has served the community since it was built in 1842. During the service plaudits were made and reminiscences given by members old and new who shared their memories of the church.

Some older members of the congregation shed a tear, as memories they held came flooding back.

The current minister, the Rev Elspeth MacLean, said that it was both a sad occasion and a celebration

of the life of Kirkapol over the many decades it served the community. She said that since the foundation of our faith is the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we can be assured that the ‘death’ of this beautiful old church building is not the end, but is the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Tiree Parish Church. Christ came to bring unity and peace. The square-shaped listed building, in its beautiful

setting at Gott Bay, is being sold by the Church of Scotland, after the dwindling congregation struggled

financially for a number of years to maintain its two buildings. Now all other services and funerals and weddings will take place in Heylipol Church which is inland at the other end of the island. The congregation had intended to walk out together at the end of the service to symbolise the final ending before returning inside for tea and sandwiches. However, the weather was so bad the plan was abandoned. Lachie MacFadyen carried the pulpit Bible outside accompanied by fellow elder Ewan MacKinnon who took out the baptismal font. Both items will now be stored at Heylipol Church along with

furnishings from Kirkapol. Professor Donald Meek, who was raised just over three miles away in the island at Caoles, spoke of his very happy association with the Church of Scotland in Tiree, and

especially with Kirkapol. Although he attended the local Baptist Church – his father was a crofter and Baptist minister – his father preached regularly at Kirkapol when its own minister was on the mainland, and helped to maintain the church in long periods of vacancy.  Donald referred to the kindness of the former Session Clerk, Donald MacIntyre, of Gott, whose warmly appreciative letters had been treasured by his father and had been preserved by the family. Donald, spoke of his visits to Kirkapol Sunday School when Mrs Goedheir was the teacher, and how much he owed in later life to the fine example of successive ministers, from Dr Albert Goedheir to the present. He said: “I learned the best possible kind of ecumenism through my father’s relationship with the Church of Scotland in Tiree, and especially through

Kirkapol.’ Rev. Bruce Neill, a retired Royal Naval chaplain who served the congregation during its long vacancy, sent a warm letter, recalling his happy times with them and how on one occasion he was surprised with a birthday cake at the end of the service! A message from one of the elders Ian Sharp, who was off ill, was read out.  Ian Sharp wrote:  ”I first entered Kirkapol Church almost three decades

ago with my wife Patricia and our three children, Graeme. Joanna and Ian, the day after arriving on Tiree for the first time… ”We had all been seasick – like most of the other passengers on Caledonian  Macbrayne’s old side-loading MV Claymore as it ploughed through heavy weather. ”I sat helpless outside hanging over the rail, not caring if the vessel sank or not.  Patricia and our children had been helped by Mr Alec MacKenzie of Milton, (Tiree) who was a good sailor and a Good Samaritan. ”Next day we walked into Kirkapol Church.  I was amazed by the simple beauty of the interior and  remember thinking that it would be a wonderful setting for a church scene in any film being made. ”I have often said, half-jokingly that I felt that our attendance there in Kirkapol Church that first morning was like giving thanks for being nearly-ship wrecked…..” ”We initially stayed in the late Mary Ann MacLennan’s Dunbeg House and we have happy memories of sitting with her and her sisters, Flora and Effie and their husbands, Neil   MacLean and Willie Dickie and other Eastenders in the church. ”After our first service at Kirkapol a woman came round to see us on the beach at Caoles, to say that she had been sitting behind us in church the previous day, and how we had reminded her of being there with her own young family years before. She invited us to her holiday home and gave us ‘seaweed pudding.’ She was Mrs Mary Henderson, a lovely woman. Her maiden name was Munro of the once well-known Munro Spun woollen firm. ”We came back next year, having been bitten by the ‘Tiree bug.’  We came three times a year when the children were on school holidays until Patricia and I managed to settle full time about six years ago.

”When we met up with Alec MacKenzie on our return to Tiree the second year, he said he was surprised

we had come back after our experience on the storm-lashed Claymore. ”I thank God for the building and the members of the congregation – and for Elspeth and the four previous ministers who took on the challenge of this tough calling – whose attendance and friendship to me is a great encouragement in my daily walk…”I also thought – and still do – that its outside setting is, in itself, a wonderful witness for our Lord Jesus, and I am sad that it is being sold.” The service closed with the congregation standing and

saying together “Come, fill us with your Holy Spirit, that we may be your temple, and,

when we go from here, we may worship You in spirit and in truth, with a new vision of

Your glory, a new experience of Your power, and a new joy in Your service.        Amen.”

Service of Thanksgiving for Kirkapol Church

On Sunday 8th December there will be a final act of worship at Kirkapol Church at 11.30 am.  It will be a service of thanksgiving for this beautiful old church building, and a time to reminisce on all that Kirkapol has meant over the years. There will be a fellowship lunch afterwards and a time to share photos and memories. Everyone is welcome to this special service.

Help Needed With Sunday School

We are currently looking for additional helpers to assist with our Sunday School.  If you feel you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

Church Sale of Work

The Church of Scotland Sale of Work which took place on 2nd August raised a fantastic £1850!!  A big thank you goes to Flora and Rosemary, and everyone else who helped to organise this event, and of course thank you to all those who supported it!

New Elder Ordination

On a lovely sunny Sunday 21st April, Mr Neil Munn was ordained at Heylipol Church during the morning service. We are delighted that Neil has joined the Session and all elders and members of the congregation wish Neil well in his new role.

Easter Morning Sunrise Service

Everyone is very welcome to this special outdoor celebration of Christ rising from the dead. The service starts an hour later than last year…but remember the clocks change that weekend!

Meet at the manse 7.00am Sunday 31st March, and weather permitting we will head for the beach. After a brief service, we will have breakfast together, please bring your own packed breakfast, hot drinks and bacon rolls will be provided.

Everyone welcome.