Who We Are

Who We Are

We are a congregation of the Free Church of Scotland. We are located on the West Side of the Island of Lewis serving the villages of Shawbost, Bragar and Arnol. The congregation is situated in a rural crofting community and at the epicentre of the modern-day Harris Tweed industry with the local Harris Tweed mill and the Harris Tweed Hebrides Offices in the village of Shawbost. 

The community is served by a Primary School and two community centres, The Old School Centre at Shawbost and the Grinneabhat Centre at Bragar. Horshader Community Development (HCD), a community-owned charitable trust, is also located in the community and provides financial and other support to organisations and projects in the area. We are indebted to HCD for their financial support in the installation of audio-visual equipment in the Church and the associated software and hardware.  

Charity Registration

The congregation is established by constitution and registered as a Charity with the Scottish Charity Regulator. Our Charity registration number is – SC038184.


We have a Kirk Session made up Elders, moderated by Rev. Calum MacDonald (Interim Moderator), to lead the church towards its vision. 

Our previous Minister, Rev Callum Macleod, retired at the end of October 2023 and the congregation is currently vacant. Typically, the Minister serves the Church and the Community in a number of different ways including engagement with community groups and serving as School Chaplain to the Shawbost primary school. The Elders have responsibility for spiritual oversight and pastoral care, and they are each allocated specific areas of the community.

We also have a Deacons Court, made up of Elders and Deacons, and which is currently chaired by one of the Elders on a Pro Tem basis. The Deacons are responsible for fulfilling the congregation’s social responsibility and for the financial and practical aspects of the congregation’s income and property. Members of the Deacons Court also serve as Charity Trustees for the congregation.






Bragar 01

Mr Kenneth Smith


Mr Donald MacPhail


Bragar 02

Mr Morris Macleod


Mr Donald MacPhail


Bragar 03

Mr Donald Morrison


Mr Gordon Williamson


Shawbost 01

Mr Murdo Macdonald


Mr Alex Morrison


Shawbost 02

Mr Neil Macleod


Shawbost 03

Mr Iain H. Mackay  


Mr Neil Macleod


Shawbost 04

Mr Iain Macdonald


Mr Matthew Hebditch


Shawbost 05

Mr Iain Macdonald


Mr Norman MacPhail


The areas covered by each district listed above are defined in a separate document which can be found here

Additional Contact Information

Our Elder, Mr Morris Macleod is the Kirk Session Clerk during the period of vacancy. All enquiries regarding the ministry of the congregation should be directed to him at: Telephone – 01851 710455; Emailbragar@live.co.uk

Mr Donald MacPhail is Clerk to the Deacons Court. All enquiries regarding practical matters and property matters should be directed to him at: Telephone – 01851 710328; Emaildan.macphail@icloud.com 

Mr Neil Macleod is the Congregational Treasurer.  All enquiries of a financial nature, including donations and contributions should be directed to him at:  Telephone – 01851 710477; Emailneilmoley@outlook.com

The Congregation

The congregation reflects the demographic of the community. We have people of all ages attending our services and playing an active role in the life of the congregation. We have young families, some of which have children who attend the crèche, the Sunday School or the Youth Fellowship; we have professionals and people working across the wide variety of employment and occupations in the community and beyond; we have retired people who form a major part of the congregation and who have had long-term commitment to the congregation and to the Gospel.