SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Try a six month print or digital Life and Work subscription

E-newsletter

Sign up to our monthly newsletter

Please confirm that you are happy to hear from The Church of Scotland:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit the Privacy Policy on our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Home  >  News  >  Appeal to Raise Anchor of 'Floating Church'

News

Appeal to Raise Anchor of 'Floating Church'

Tuesday November 1

Looking south over Loch Sunart to Morvern. Picture by Richard Webb, Creative Commons License

 

A Highland community has launched an appeal to preserve the last remains of a legendary ‘floating church’.

The crowdfunding appeal will help lift and conserve the anchor of the floating church of Loch Sunart, in Lochaber.

The floating church arose from the Disruption of 1843, when the Free Church split from the Church of Scotland. In several places, landowners refused new Free Church congregations permission to build their own places of worship, forcing them to meet in the outdoors, in all weathers.

Faced with just this situation in the parish of Strontian, on the shores of Loch Sunart, someone hit on the idea of the floating church.

The ship, built in Glasgow at a cost of £1400, included a pulpit and seating for 750 worshippers. It sailed up the coast to Loch Sunart in 1846 and was moored at Ardnastang Bay, where it remained for many years until breaking its anchors during a storm and blowing ashore.

In 1869 the landowners relented and allowed a new church to be built, and the floating church was broken up for salvage.

None of it was thought to remain, until earlier this year when a local diver found one of the original anchors and some chain on the Loch bed.

The community has now started a Crowdfunding appeal for £6000 towards the costs of lifting and conserving the anchor, which is to be displayed in Strontian village.

The appeal website states: “The floating church has been folklore throughout the years. We have an opportunity now of actually bringing this artefact on to land and of telling the whole story.”

Appeal website

Looking Back: a 1954 Life and Work article about the floating church


Comments

There are currently no comments on this post


Add a reply

All fields are required. Email address will not be published.