The annual Ensay Pilgrimage takes place as close to St. Columba's Day (June 9th) as is practically possible. The vagaries of Hebridean weather sometimes dictate which days are unsuitable, but generally a Saturday in late May or early June is the preferred option.
Jessie Scott left the chapel to the Episcopalian Church in perpetuity, and a service of Holy Communion must take place each year.
You cross the Sound of Harris from Leverburgh by boat, but as the boat cannot land on the beach, you climb into a small tender and get pulled or rowed ashore. Then you walk up the beach and up to the church.
The inside is small, but the acoustics are lovely and we accompany the hymns on cello and recorder. (The cello has to be wrapped up in plastic sheeting to protect it in the open dinghy!)
After the service we have a picnic in front of the only house on the island. Then it’s off to explore the island, including an old Norse settlement, and a walk on the beach, before making the return journey.
Shown above is a selection of images from recent and past Pilgrimages, dating back to 1973, when John David had completed his renovations. That year, the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Bishop Wimbush, led a service of rededication. Since then, members of the congregation of Christ Church Harris, together with members of the Diocese from in and around Oban and Argyll, plus congregants from South Uist and Stornoway, have continued to make the Pilgrimage.
Shown below are newspaper reports from the local press.