The bells won’t ring on Colonsay this Christmas

The 135 residents of Colonsay, a tiny island in the Inner Hebrides, have a very pressing problem. The birdcage belfry on their 200-year-old Georgian church is in urgent need of restoration, and must be dismantled immediately to avoid storms destroying the structure before work can take place.

The dismantling process alone will cost £20,000, and they have launched an appeal to raise these funds as soon as possible. Although the congregation only numbers 12, according to Session Clerk Kevin Byrne “there are more than a million people worldwide with one or more ancestors who are connected to our church through a baptism, marriage or funeral”.

If you’d like to make a festive contribution towards the restoration of one of the UK’s most remote churches, visit

Facts about Colonsay:

  • The island is 36 miles from Oban, which is accessible by ferry
  • Of its 135 residents, 90 are either children or pensioners
  • Other inhabitants include otters, Grey Atlantic seals and chough
  • It is the smallest island in the world to have its own brewery
  • It regularly hosts a rugby festival, despite not having a permanent rugby pitch
A beach on the Isle of Colonsay



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