Argyll - a journey, a destination - and a home
For many people this wonderful county equals 'holiday', a place of refreshment, adventure, wildness. Much of the area's revenue comes from agriculture and
tourism and there are many websites for the potential visitor e.g.
It is as a holiday destination that most people think of this area - for good
reason. And although its attractiveness today has something to do with its being
on the edge, with many coasts and bays and beaches waiting to be explored,
historically, Argyll has been at the centre of Scotland's past. Dunadd, near
Kilmartin for example , was once a key location for Scotland - and Finlaggan on
Islay was the seat of the Lords of the Isles for centuries.
So over time Argyll has been a key part of Scotland's journey into the vibrant country it is today, playing a key role in its growth and development.
A journey (Scotland's history) and a destination (visitors)...but we do well to remember that it is home to well over 90000 people today (2001 census). It is
this facet of the area which is the focus of this website - the people who
live there now, their lives and their spirituality.
About 17% (a sixth) of Argyll's population live on the 29 inhabited islands (quiz
question - name them all) and about 80% of the population live within 1km of
the coast (so not surprising that fishing has been a key part of the area's history).
Almost half of the population live in areas classified as 'remote rural' and this has
major implications in social terms : bus routes, access to medical services, shops,
education - and the need to travel considerable distances to a secondary school.
(For more info click here).
It also has effects on the spirituality of the region, for in many places it is just
impossible to come together in anything like large numbers for worship -
distance forming an invisible barrier to gathered fellowship. This contrasts with
the fact that, in Iona, Argyll possess one of the most iconic and influential
sites in the world for the growth of our faith. If historically Argyll was at the
centre of Christian mission, where does it stand today, 1500 years on?
How does the geography of the area and the make-up of society in the 21st
century enable or challenge the presence and outreach of Christianity today?