Arran – Our History


The people of Arran Episcopal Church




Bishop Ewing, in 1853, proposed the transfer of mission work from the collegiate Church at West Kilbride to Arran, but nothing appears to have come of the proposal. The first firm evidence of Episcopalian activity on the island was in 1902, when the Rector of St Pauls, Rothesay began to hold occasional services there.
These were held at first in ‘temporary buildings’, but later references suggest their being conducted in houses. A Dependent Mission, dedicated to St Columba and served from Rothesay, was opened in Lamlash Bay from 1914, but the chapel was abandoned after the war.

Between the wars, summer services must have been conducted in houses in Brodick, as correspondence in the Glasgow Herald refers to these, urging that more permanent premises be found.
When Canon J M R Gladstone, a former Rector of St Paul’s, Rothesay, retired to Arran, he may well have held occasional services for Episcopalians, although no written record can be found. On his death in about 1963, Canon (later Archdeacon) Hadfield, the then Rector of St Paul’s, celebrated Holy Communion two or three times a year in private houses in Corrie and Sannox. Dean Wilson, his successor in 1964 continued this practice.
In 1966 The Revd Charles Wood retired to Arran where he set up a chapel in his own home, Sandbraes House, Whiting Bay. He held regular services and there was a steady increase in the congregation. In 1978 he was appointed Honorary Canon of the Cathedral of The Isles . After his death in 1983 his widow, Elsie, continued to give the Church the use of the Chapel, and services are maintained, thanks to the Ministrations of visiting priests.
When Mrs Wood died in 1993, she left Sandbraes House to the Church, and its sale proceeds were used to buy a former Free Church nearby. This was dedicated as St Margaret’s of Scotland on 1st May 1995.