Monday, September 6, 2010


On our last Sunday in Scotland, Cathy and I attended Sunday morning services at Portree Parish Church, which is Presbyterian and part of the established Church of Scotland.

As you see the interior of the church is quite beautiful - simple but lovely.
The church was built as a Free Church in 1854, to a design produced by John Hay of Liverpool. Since then its history has reflected the changes that have taken place in the Church in Scotland more widely. In 1900 it became Portree's United Free Church, before finally becoming part of the Church of Scotland in 1929.

I could find only a small picture of the exterior of the church. The church sits right on the main square, Somerled Square, in the town of Portree.

The cover of the service bulletin.

The morning service.

Cathy and I both enjoyed the service, which was quite well done with an intelligent and thoughtful sermon and good participation by the congregation.

At the end of the service, on the way out, folks smiled at us, but no one spoke a word to us, until we greeted the minister outside the church door. Cathy speculated that Scottish reserve may have kept the people from speaking to us. What about welcoming strangers? Reserve or not, to me, it's a vital ministry and responsibility for members of the congregation to speak a few words of welcome to visitors to the church and not leave the greetings only to the minister. Thus sayeth the unofficial mystery worshiper.

Photos and history from Undiscovered Scotland, where you can see more pictures of the interior of the church.


  1. I really enjoyed that service. I didn't find people unfriendly for just smiling but then I have acclimatised to living in England, where people tend to assume other people wish to be left alone.

    It rounded off our trip to Scotland really nicely and I'm so glad we went.

  2. Cathy, you've gone native. Welcoming visitors is a biggie for me. Having said that, I'm so pleased that we went to church. I enjoyed the singing, the prayers, the sermon, the whole service, really, so there was just that one small disappointment.

    Yield not to temptation"

    Oh come on: not BOTH! ;-/


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