I was invited today, Wednesday, by a few lovely ladies from the Rhinns who run the "Friends of Portnahaven Church Charity". The charity's aim is to keep the beautiful church in Portnahaven in a good condition for everyone to enjoy. The Portnahaven and Port Wemyss parish church, designed by Thomas Telford, is one of the few Telford churches in Scotland from which the design has been mostly unaltered. Islay has two other Telford churches, on one the Oa which is now ruined and the Kilmeny church near Ballygrant.
Maintaining the church is a very costly affair. 2011 for instance saw repairs to the Roof, the Skews and the Bell Tower costing well over £11.000 and in 2013 a further £8000 was spent in the upkeep of the church. And all this money has been raised locally. But more funding is needed if we all want to keep on enjoying this pretty church with its pink and white interior. And you can help! Continue reading....
A selection of crafts and gifts for sale in the church
Every Wednesday in the tourist season, from April to end of October, there is "T in the Church". It's a lovely welcoming community event to raise monies for the church in order to maintain it and to further improve it. Coffees and Teas are served inside the church and there is delicious home baking made by Liz, Maggie, Moira, Marjory, Flora and of course Wendy renowned for her pancakes. And in addition to teas and coffees there are also crafts and gifts for sale as well as local honey.
Everyone is welcome and the atmosphere is lovely. You can meet the folk behind the charity as well as many locals from the villages of Portnahaven and Port Wemyss, and visitors from all over the world. This morning there were people from as far as Australia visiting the church. Without the support of you all the church can not be maintained so it's vital that as many folk as possible visit. There are weeks that they raise around £300 which is fantastic. But if you can't make it personally you can still help. Get in touch with Liz by email: firstname.lastname@example.org and she can send you more information on how to become a member of the charity and how to donate.
The beautiful interior of the Portnahaven Parish Church
So make sure when you're on Islay to head to the Rhinns on Wednesday and visit the church in Portnahaven between 11am and 2pm for coffee, tea, crafts, gifts, delicious home baking and most of all fellowship and friendship.