It is a trend throughout Scotland: church doors are closing, only to reopen as pubs, and providing a very different type of spiritual uplift to those who congregate therein. But not on the island of North Uist.
Next week, the Carinish Inn at the south of the island closes to allow the necessary alterations to be made to allow it to reopen as a Free Church of Scotland.
The 150-year-old pub and hotel has been on the market for some time, with offers over £395,000 sought. Now last orders will be taken, somewhat inappropriately, tomorrow night.
It is not yet clear how much money changed hands but the Free Church is confident the move makes good sense.
Local minister the Rev Ewen Matheson said: “Basically, there will be one building where historically there have been three churches serving Berneray, North Uist and Grimsay.
“We hope to get into worship as soon as possible and then do the rest of the work as we go along. But the second stage of the work – the manse, church hall, and cafe – will obviously take a little longer. Some may see it as a unique move, but it isn’t really. It has happened in other places where the likes of restaurants and bingo halls have been turned into places of worship.”
Full story at The Herald.