Geary School - Skye (1842)

Roderick MacLeod records details of the revival:

`The state of things at Unish, as may be readily conceived, soon began to be noised abroad; and the consequence was that numbers from various parts of the country were attracted to the scene, many of whom became similarly affected with the rest. It was now judged necessary that the people should have regular preaching, and the immediate vicinity of the village of Stein was the place fixed upon for preaching. The minister of a neighbouring parish, who had been applied to [most likely MacLeod himself], accordingly went on the day preceding that appointed, and was not a little surprised, on coming in sight of the place, at seeing a dense body of people sitting down as if hearing the word. He proceeded to the spot and found a friend of the cause, an elder of the church, addressing the congregation, and on his concluding he gave a short address himself and dismissed them with an intimation that there would be a sermon next day. It appeared that a report had gone abroad that that was the day appointed for the preaching. Next day the crowd was much greater, the appearance of the congregation, and the impressions on many most striking. At the conclusion, a sermon was again intimated for that day week; and when that day came the crowd was immense, no fewer than 50 boats being hauled up on the beach that had come from various parts of the coast opposite and around. The impressions on the hearers still deepened, and a sermon was again intimated for the following day.

On that day the wind was high, and it was thought that the boats would not venture out, yet many did come, but such was the difficulty they encountered, that t gave rise to a suggestion for changing the preaching station, which was accordingly done, and a well-known spot, called Fairy Bridge, where three roads now met, was pitched upon as the most convenient place for meeting, and continued to be the scene of a weekly preaching to thousands for about two months when the advance of the harvest season rendered it expedient to discontinue it.

Multitudes from all parts of Skye, excepting the distant parishes of Strath and Sleat, flocked to Fairy bridge; and as a proof of one design of providence, in permitting such outward manifestations as took place under the word, it is a fact worthy of notice, that some who never went to hear the gospel in their own parish, wore induced, by what they heard was going on, to go many miles beyond to hear it there.

Soon after the awakening broke out in Unish, it appeared also in Geary, another Gaelic School station in Waternish, under Mr Murdoch MacDonald, the teacher there, and also at Glendale in the parish of Durinish, so that from that extreme and intermediate point, where it first commenced, it proceeded to the right and to the left, till now, in a series of regular successive movements, it has traversed the whole extent of the island, from north to south, yea and beyond, on to the islands of Eigg and Rhum, in the parish of Small Isles, the most distant bounds of the Presbytery Skye.'

From ‘The Skye Revivals,’ by Steve Taylor, published by New Wine Press, p46-7.

Additional Information

This school is on the site of a school that was there around 1860, which is therefore probably the site of the Gaelic School where the revival took place.

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