Idyllic Scottish island dubbed ‘Hawaii of the North’ offers beach house to new minister

Isle of Tiree are searching for a new minisrer. Picture: Church of Scotland
Isle of Tiree are searching for a new minisrer. Picture: Church of Scotland
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It is the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides, a remote community sometimes known as the “Hawaii of the north” thanks to its white sand beaches and clear blue waters.

Now locals on Tiree are looking for a new minister to lead the Church of Scotland congregation on the island, which covers an area of 30 square miles.

The island of Tiree enjoys a level of sunshine above the UK average

The island of Tiree enjoys a level of sunshine above the UK average

While one of the Kirk’s more remote postings, whoever takes up the job will be able to enjoy living in a manse just yards from the beach as well as performing a prominent role in the tight-knit community, which has a Christian tradition dating back to the sixth century.

Jo Bennett, clerk of the congregation’s nominating committee, said: “People talk about Iona as a thin place – a place where the distance between heaven and earth collapses.

“I think Tiree has that too, but it’s also very much a working community - you get both aspects here.

“A minister here has the chance to see the impact of the work they do and be the focal point for the community.”

Isle of Tiree. Picture: Church of Scotland

Isle of Tiree. Picture: Church of Scotland

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Mr Bennett said the congregation was regularly boosted in the summer months by visitors from around the world.

“In Summer we get visitors from around the world but in winter it may be much smaller,” he added.

“It’s always a mixture of people who visit regularly and people visiting for the first time.”

The manse is situated outside the village of Scarinish, just yards from the sea and with views to the Treshnish Isles, Mull and Iona across the passage of Tiree.

Although the church building only dates to 1902, Tiree has a long Christian tradition going back to St Columba and his companion Beithene, who was the abbot on the island in the sixth century.

The local population boasts the highest proportion of Gaelic speakers in the Inner Hebrides.

An advert for the position states: “We seek a minister who finds that their heart resonates with this island and this community; who can meet us where we are and help guide us towards where we should be; who can “be Christ” in this place to people who need His love.

“Tiree is not a place that allows for anything other than going ‘all in’.

“People will know when you leave the Manse; they’ll know where you’ve been visiting; what you’ve been buying in the Co-op and when your cooker has stopped working.

“But they will also wave and stop for a chat when they see you; notice the work you put in to visiting and come by with food or invite you round for dinner when your cooker isn’t working.”