Giving thanks for 40 years of preaching in Uig

By Donnie Macinnes

To commemorate his 40 years of preaching in Uig, Lewis, a special thanksgiving service was held at the weekend for Church of Scotland minister Revd William Macleod.

Mr Macleod (77) was converted in 1949 during the ‘spiritual

awakening’ of the time and within a short period felt the call to the ministry.

Married with a family of three, William and his wife Margaret Ann are originally from Barvas, but have enjoyed their many years in Uig. Mrs Macleod, a former teacher, is heavily involved with other helpers, in the Sunday School and Campaigners.

Mr Macleod studied in Glasgow before taking his theological course at Aberdeen University, completing it in 1956.

In early 1957, Mr Macleod was ordained and inducted in Benbecula and spent seven happy years there.

He received a call from the

congregation in Uig and took up ministry there in 1964.

The two Church of Scotlands in Uig — at Uigen and Baile-na-Cille — united in 1979 to become the Uig Church of Scotland.

Said Mr Macleod: “It is

very much a strong Gaelic

congregation, but we have an English service on Sunday

mornings and a Gaelic service in the evenings. There are normally between 30 and 60 at the services. We also have an outreach service in the evening for the non-churchgoers and this attracts between 15 and 20.”

All are welcome to attend any of the services, says Mr Macleod, adding: “As long as we preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ — that is what is important.”

Regarding changes over the 40 years he has been minister in Uig, Mr Macleod said: “The main change is in the population. The school roll has gone down

dramatically. There were three schools when we arrived here in 1964 and now there is only one.”

Although his services are in Gaelic and English on Sundays, both are completely different, as is the choice of praise.

He says that over the years he has been involved in the ministry there has been no change in preaching the Gospel.

“Some people might say that you have got to move with the times, but we don’t move from the solid rock of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Mr Macleod.

Regarding his Uig

congregation, Mr Macleod said: “There are lovely people in this parish. There is the saying ‘duine uasal Uig’ — and that is what they are, ‘the noble people of Uig’. They are God-fearing people who know their Bible well.”

Mr Macleod went on: “The hand of the Lord was there for us to come to Uig and I did not have much trouble in saying ‘yes’ to

the congregation. I have felt

no inclination to live anywhere else.”

The community send best wishes to Mr and Mrs Macleod and their family — Kenneth, Murray and Rhona — at this special time.