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Open Air Service at Kildalton Cross Islay

Worshippers from the various island congregations will hold an open air service at the Kildalton Cross on Sunday, 12th August, beginning at 3pm. The Kildalton Cross dates from the second part of the 8th century and is widely regarded as the finest surviving cross of its type in Scotland and the most perfect monument of its date to survive in Western Europe. It stands in the grounds of the former parish church of Kildalton (Cill Daltain), the Church of the Foster Son, a title which is generally thought to refer to St John the Evangelist.

The Kildalton parish is of medieval origin and early records suggest it dates from around 1425AD. The church building is certainly older than this and possible dates from the late 12th into the early 13th century. Following the Reformation in 1560, Kildalton Church continued to be used to service a parish which stretched from MacArthur’s Head in the north to the Oa peninsula in the south.

The eventual drift of population towards the Ardbeg district saw the discontinuation of public worship at Kildalton and the formation of a new place of worship at Lagavulin at the end of the 18th century. Sundays open air service, headed by Kilarrow and Kildalton and Oa parish minister the Rev Dr Rob Barlow, will continue an ancient tradition at this historic and sacred site. Continue reading.....

Rev Dr Rob Barlow: "The great attraction to Celtic Christianity has been attributed to a number of reasons, but one of its undoubted attributes is its sense of connection with people and creation, a sense of times and seasons. The Celtic Christian was a God intoxicated person, where the presence of Christ was interwoven with every aspect of life. Christ was a walking companion, a guide, a protector, someone to trust through all stages and elements of our earthly lives. Given this outlook it is not surprising that they should also believe that the veil between this world and the next was very thin. Heaven and earth were connected and constantly interacting.


Kildalton Chapel

"Modern man worries little about times and seasons because we can get winter sun and summer veg at any time. Few are involved in rural pursuits and a myriad of external noises and influences crowd in upon the modern soul. Yet that same soul cries out for linkage and balance so when it hears of the Celtic way it responds, wanting to know more.

"This is why we try to make our annual service at the Kildalton Cross a time to remember our connections to the past. A past which helps us to see, and know, that we are meant to be connected to people and creation. A past that can show us how we can get ‘re-connected’ and enjoy the blessings that follow. So, why not come along to the Kildalton Cross this Sunday at 3pm, and join with denominations and groups from around the island as we celebrate our Celtic Connection."


Story published with kind permission of the Ileach Newspaper

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