724: Pairc Free Church, Gravir

The Park Free Church was built in 1882 and has a seating capacity of approximately 750.

During its construction, the local population helped in whatever way they could. Many of the materials used in the construction like the wood and slates were brought by ship to the jetty in Gravir and then taken by horse and cart through the village and up to the church. The stones were quarried from the Leac Bhain just above the church and taken from a dismantled corn mill at 42 Gravir. The sand was brought from Loch a' Gaineamhaich on the way to Lemreway by the women of the village who carried it on their backs.

The Church opened for the first time on the first Tuesday of November 1882 and the ministers were;

1886-1888    Rev. Neil Maclean Morrison who was born in Leurbost in1848. He was in Pairc for only two years, and left to go to Barvas

1889-1905    Rev. Hector Kennedy  was a native of Skye and was born in 1847.

1909-1913    Rev. Angus Macleod (1854-1913) from 25 Laxay. Before being ordained he was the first schoolmaster at Kershader.

1920-1958    Rev. Murdo Macleod (1892-1971) from 10 Balallan was minister at Ardnamurchan for two years before coming to Gravir. Older residents of Pairc describe how he arrived at the pier in Gravir by boat from Ardnamurchan with all his belongings, which then had to be transported all the way to the Manse. After retiring in 1958 he lived at 10 Balallan until his death.

1959-1967   Rev John Norman Macleod (1926-2002) was born in Detroit USA and the family returned to Lewis in 1927. He was ordained in Fort William, Ontario and returned to Lewis in 1959 and served at Pairc for 8 years before returning to Canada for a short time before moving to the London Free Church. He was Moderator of the General Assembly in 1983 and retired in 1991. 

1968-1969    John Macdonald  was less than a year in the Pairc Congregation when he suffered a severe heart attack and died suddenly. He was born in Bernera in 1917 and was buried at Bosta.

1972-1983   William John Campbell went to Portree Free Church when he left Gravir. He retired to Inverness.

1984-1993    John Macleod left Gravir to go to Gairloch Free Church where he is still the Minister

1993- The last Minister at Park Free Church was the Rev Malcolm Macdonald who is a native of Shawbost. 


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