Leader comment: The island that's paradise for more reasons than one

With its pristine beaches and towering waves, Tiree is a surfers' paradise that has been compared to the place where the sport began, Hawaii.

Tiree's beautiful beaches have prompted comparisons with Hawaii

However, such is its otherworldly beauty, that some talk about the Inner Hebridean island as also being a spiritual paradise – a “thin place” like Iona where the gap between heaven and earth seems to disappear.

So a request for a Church of Scotland minister to come and “be Christ” for the islanders may prove attractive to more than might otherwise be expected to apply for a job in a remote Scottish parish, about as far from the bustle of the big city as it is possible to get.

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An advert for the vacant post warns that the community is small enough that the successful applicant will find that everyone knows what they have been doing, even down to the things they have been buying in the local shop.

But with this relative lack of privacy comes an extra dose of friendliness and general concern for others’ well-being.

And it is perhaps that quality more than any physical beauty that puts this island that little bit closer to heaven.

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