Eriskay’s Parish church was opened 120 years ago today (Sunday 7 May) and the community is celebrating their historic day.
St Michael’s church was solemnly opened on 7 May 1903, dedicated to St. Michael, patron of the Outer Hebrides.
Donations for the new church came from sources including the Eriskay fishermen, who donated money from their catches.
Legend has it that they promised to donate their total catch from a night's fishing to the church – and that their catch that night far exceeded any previously known.
The community physically helped to build the church, schoolchildren carrying sand and the men giving up time to shift large stones up the very steep hill to their destination.
Eriskay’s Fr. Allan Macdonald had wished the church to be built in a position where it could be seen by all, so it stands at a focal point on Cnoc na Sgrath.
The sanctuary light was always lit as a guide for sailors and as a reminder to the islanders of their faith.
Eriskay Historical Society is to commemorate the anniversary of the opening of the church with a walking trail around the island, giving information about the building of St. Michael’s and the life and legacy of Fr. Allan MacDonald.
To mark the 120th Anniversary of the consecration today, a Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was held in the church this afternoon.
Pictures and information from Eriskay Historical Society