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The Church in Lochs Parish

The Church in Lochs Parish

Angus Macleod, Calbost and Marybank, on churches in Lochs Parish.

Martin Martin, in his book, "A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland" in 1692 gives us a long list of fine Reformation Churches in Lewis, two or three of which were in Lochs. St. Colm Cille in the island of that name in Loch Erisort, St Phearear in Kaerness and St Mary in the Shiant Isles. There is a degree of uncertainty about where was St Phearar of Kaerness and some people maintain that Church was at Swordale near Keose. Some say that the old name for Swordale was "Cearnish" others maintain that it is much more likely that the church mentioned here is the old church that is at Rearnish (Ranish), Lochs.

The reformation of 1560 had a profound influence on our religious outlook in Lewis. The first Presbyterian Parish Church in Lochs was at Swordale near Keose and the first minister was settled there in 1724, Rev. Colin Mackenzie. Until the disruption of 1843 there was only one church in the whole of the Parish of Lochs. There after the history of Presbyterianism in Lochs is dominated by division and there are about a dozen congregations now in the area that was once covered by one parish church.

The Park congregation to which Calbost belonged was sanctioned in 1879 with a membership of 650 people over 14 years of age and a promise to raise a contribution of 88 a year.

Angus Macleod Archive


Title: The Church in Lochs Parish
Record Type: Stories, Reports and Traditions
Record Maintained By: CEP
Subject Id: 45980