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Laurence's Kirk at Papil in West Burra, Shetland.The cowled figures are certainly clerics though not necessarily monks, and are probably the ‘papar’, a Norse word for priests or clerics, contained in the name of the find spot, Papil.Bishop Molaise encouraged him to carry out his missionary calling and in the year 562, Columba set sail for Caladonia accompanied by around a dozen companions.] (4) The ruined Abby of Iona (copyright free photo) [Almost nothing remains of Columba's original Monastery however traces of the ditch (or vellum) that surrounded the Monastic enclosure can still be seen. Not finding one, he travelled extensively throughout the Orkneys and Shetlands, perhaps the Faroes, and "beyond the limits of human wanderings". Pictured below is the Monastic site at the Birrier of West Sandwick in Yell..Inside would have been a settlement resembling a small village - a modest timber church surrounded by huts for the monks to live and work in and small cells to provide the solitude necessary for prayer. From then till the Reformation (1560) the Benedictines revitalised the Columbian cult on Iona. [ St Cormac became a disciple of St Columba and in one of his journeys he visited his mentor at Iona. Cormac returned to Ireland and became Abbot of the monastery at Durrow, where he was laid to rest ] (6) (6) Transalpine Redemptorists. Along some of Shetlands more rugged shores there are high offshore stacks (detached cliffs) where groups of small square or rectangular foundations, some as small as 2m x 3m were built in turf or stone. uk last accessed 18/08/2015 These stones are thought to have been erected sometime during the 8th to 9th century.This work is registered with UK Copyright Service Registration No: 284709028 The Shetland Christian family, here in our Islands, has a truly multi-faceted and diverse history and even the ‘Here and Now’ of our Church life today is a healthy mix of Services, Home Meetings, various Styles of Praise and Worship, and Social Activities alongside Charity and Mission Support Programme’s which are sometimes Traditional, sometimes Innovative, sometimes Charismatic, sometimes Conservative, often Outreaching and Community minded, and ever expressing a thankfulness for the privilege of living in a place in which we can enjoy freedom of expression, fellowship and worship.
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