Island of Lewis (1900-1910)

A UFC minister reported in 1910 that.'not only was there a considerable membership in our church, but that it was a constantly increasing membership. Lochs had 45 members, Uig 160, Barvas 181, and so on. But these are only the communicants. You have adherents to the number of 500 in some places, and in several cases there is a practical membership of about 1,000. But not only is our Church increasing in membership it is also increasing in givings. The Central Fund contributions have gone up to £500 or £600. But more than that, we were made to feel that religion was a great reality among the people; they seemed to be living almost in a revival atmosphere.

There was no great excitement, but a spiritual movement was going on, and has been for long. … One said, “There has never been a week during all that time (since 1900) in which we have not had manifest tokens of the Spirit of God at work in our midst.” It was the Communion season when we were there, and we got the full fruit of all that had led up to it. I wish you could have seen those congregations. … At these Communions you feel the atmosphere to be that of a truly spiritual kind, such as might have followed on a time of revival. It is something that you cannot explain. I don’t know how many are familiar with the Gaelic singing. But if those who are not familiar with it would go to Lewis to hear it, it would be well worth their while. Nothing moved me so much; again and again it moved me to tears. It seemed as though all the pent-up emotions of these Highland hearts seemed to gather strength as they rose; they seemed to mount up through the rafters, and away out to the everlasting hills beyond. One felt somehow how real and deep their religious feelings are.'

There was a report from the Free Church in 1923 which said that Lewis was generally in revival. This state seems to have lasted from 1922-4.

For more information see, ‘Glory in the Glen,’ by Tom Lennie published by Christian Focus Publications, p293-4 and 312.

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