An outline of the map of western Scotland

A welcome from

Clèir Eilean ì: Highlands and Hebrides

Welcome to Clèir Eilean Ì – the Church of Scotland in the Highlands and Hebrides. We’re a Presbytery of The Church of Scotland, and we represent over 100 Christian congregations across more than 40% of Scotland’s landmass. Clèir Eilean Ì was born on 1st January 2024, out of the coming together of nine previous Presbyteries, from the Mull of Kintyre to John O’Groats, and from the Western Isles to West Moray. Island churches, rural churches, town and city churches, all united in mission and ministry. A new way of being church; and a major part of the restructuring of the national Kirk across Scotland. A Transition Team, with representatives from all nine of the uniting Presbyteries working together, led to our General Assembly approving this new expression of Church. The Presbytery itself is made up of ministers and elders from across the area staying true to their ordination vow to “…seek the unity and peace of this Church… and to take your due part in the administration of its affairs.” 

Clèir Eilean Ì marks a real step of faith – one we’re taking together, after four years of prayerful planning. By doing things in ways that have never been done before, we will open up new possibilities, new ways of ministering and mission. We’re glad you’re interested!

Celtic cross on the island of Iona

What's in a name?

Clèir Eilean Ì literally translates as “The Presbytery of the Island of Iona.” The whole area we represent owes much of its Christian heritage to those early missionaries who flowed from Columba’s Iona. In some areas, nearly all of it; in others, not so much, but still of real weight. And there is no area untouched by it. Columba reached Iona after landing in Kintyre in 563AD. Iona became the centre of Celtic Christianity, and its missionaries reached out across Scotland from the Western Isles as far as Moray and Wick, and further into England, and even continental Europe. That’s our heritage – but it’s also our call.

What's in a name?

Clèir Eilean Ì literally translates as “The Presbytery of the Island of Iona.” The whole area we represent owes much of its Christian heritage to those early missionaries who flowed from Columba’s Iona. In some areas, nearly all of it; in others, not so much, but still of real weight. And there is no area untouched by it. Columba reached Iona after landing in Kintyre in 563AD. Iona became the centre of Celtic Christianity, and its missionaries reached out across Scotland from the Western Isles as far as Moray and Wick, and further into England, and even continental Europe. That’s our heritage – but it’s also our call.

In 21st century Scotland, our methods may be worlds away from the coracles and manuscripts of Iona, but our hearts, minds and souls are still Christ’s; our mission call is the same, gaining strength from uniting the languages, cultures and heritage of the communities we serve with the call to live the message and the life of Christ :

“Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism… I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
(Matt 28:19-20, The Message)

CEI Logo

Rev Doug McRoberts is our Moderator. It was Doug who presented the Overture creating CEI to this year’s General Assembly.

He says: “It seems clear that God is taking the Kirk into new ways of being Church in the Highlands, Hebrides and Argyll. Nine Presbyteries becoming one. It’s been a rare privilege to be part of the Transition Team – experiencing how minds focused on developing mission and ministry in new ways, driven by hearts committed to Jesus, have seen the vision of Clèir Eilean Ì grow.”

So, together, we enter this new world. This is a step of faith – but one we take together, after four years of prayerful planning. By doing things in ways that have never been done before, we will open up new possibilities, new ways of ministering and mission. Much of our work will be done online. And all of it will be directed towards finding better ways to resource local mission and ministry, seeking wherever we can to lift the administrative burdens that have for so long beset our Church.

Meet the Team

Rory MacLeod
Rory MacLeod

Presbytery Clerk

Following 30+ years of experience in parish ministry and military chaplaincy, with …

Amanda Anderson

Presbytery Support Officer

I hope to inspire an enthusiastic vision that will spread the Good News …

Amanda Anderson

Diary Date

Every full meeting of Clèir Eilean Ì will be hybrid, allowing every member to take part – but it is our vision that people will gather together in “hubs” for each meeting, with the hubs linking together. The next main meeting of Presbytery will be Tuesday 5th March at 7.00pm. We’re hoping that people will gather earlier at each of the hubs, for fellowship – and that local and regional mission initiatives will then develop. Work is underway to find suitable locations for these first hubs – “well-equipped spaces in the right places!” – and Zoom links will go out to every member in good time ahead of the meeting, together with all relevant reports and documents. We look forward to welcoming you all, as we learn how best to move forward in this new way together.