Pray for Snizort


Last weekend, I had the blessing of a trip away, helping out in the congregation of Snizort on Skye. This was a particular personal joy, as this church will always be a special place for me. Twelve years ago, sitting in these same pews, I found assurance of salvation under the ministry of another visiting preacher, Rev Edward Donnelly of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Newtonabbey, Northern Ireland. Now I come back to the same church, to preach the precious message of the Gospel myself.

Let me give a brief report of the congregation there, to stir up prayer for the Lord’s work there.


Snizort is the central parish of North Skye, named after the great sea loch that cuts deep into the centre of the island, between the two great peninsulas. The church is in a rural location, but on the main road, and easily reached from long distances on all sides.

It is an incredibly beautiful spot. The church is an ancient white building, erected shortly after the Disruption of 1843, on the shore of the sea loch. The waves lap against the rock just a few feet below the level of the car park. Inside, the church is like a palimpsest, a manuscript written over by each new generation, with the modern day speakers and fire exits, on top of features original to the nineteenth century. These include the remains of two great doors, now closed off, which used to stand open at service times in days of revival so that the crowds of people unable to gain admittance could crowd round to hear the Gospel preaching. The pulpit is still the same towering edifice, a visible reminder of the preciousness of the preaching of God’s word to the poverty-stricken people of nineteenth-century Skye. The gallery remains, but is now unused; shrouded in curtains, it awaits better days.

Historically, this was the centre of Gospel ministry on Skye. When blind Donald Munro was first converted in the early 1800s, he used to preach the Gospel to the people in the open air almost exactly on this spot, while the old Churches of Scotland remained closed to Evangelical truth, under the suffocating blanket of Moderate ministry. After the Disruption, the only Free Church minister on Skye was, for many years, Rev Roderick Macleod of Snizort (1794-1868), remembered affectionately as Maighstir Ruaridh. With the Free Church built here, this became the resort for multitudes from across the island seeking the preaching of Christ as Saviour.


The people of Snizort congregation today are known throughout the Free Church for their warmth and love, and this was on display again last weekend. Absences in the body caused their own pang, especially two beloved elders, familiar presences in Snizort: one is recovering in hospital from an accident, while the other has passed on to the eternal Communion. It is great to see a good number of children and young people, unusual in our elderly denomination, in regular attendance. Numbers were difficult to assess, as the congregation was boosted by visitors throughout the weekend, but I guess that about fifty would attend the regular morning service in this congregation, perhaps slightly fewer at night, and a prayer meeting of 15-20. It was a joy to see a new member admitted at this Communion.


It was a particular privilege to be with my own former minister, Rev Murdo Angus Macleod, a wise pastor and faithful preacher in my University days in Glasgow, now settled here since 2010. It was good to remember days of past blessing together, and to be reminded of the benefit of perseverance in the faith. The unflappable Mrs Isobel Ann Macleod, with her capable assistants, catered beautifully throughout the weekend, with the constant and enviable appearance of effortlessness.

The services of the weekend passed rapidly, with the help of the Spirit in preaching and a sense of power and Divine Presence in the worship. Rev Allan Murray, the senior minister, delivered a Gaelic action sermon in the Hall, while I preached in English in the church. Subsequently, we came together, and Mr Murray brought us wise and encouraging thoughts as we partook at the Lord’s Table. I endeavoured to bring a Gospel message in the evening, and we joined for a thanksgiving service to conclude the weekend the following morning.


  • Here is a congregation with a blessed history; but let’s pray that God will bless this work in our day and generation;
  • Let’s remember children and young people, especially the many in Snizort, that they would not merely attend outwardly, but would come to a spiritual understanding and experience of the truths proclaimed in the congregation;
  • Let’s seek that God would stir up the many in Skye who no longer attend public worship to seek with urgency the message of everlasting life in Christ;
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see new revival? Let us therefore ask God to pour out His Spirit again on the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
  • Above all, that God would be glorified in the worship of His church.
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1 comment to Pray for Snizort

  • Isabel Campbell

    Snizort and the Lords people there hold a very special place in my heart. I always come away from there with much more than I ever went with, both Spiritual and Temporal.
    Thank You, Rev Murray and Rev MA Macleod and yourself for your encouraging and seeking sermons . I do not think we thank Ministers enough for thier labours for us.

    I pray that the Lord would continue to bless and uphold Snizort in all its differing circumstances

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