JURA Parish Church
Jura Parish Church is located in the main village of Craighouse, and services are held every Sunday at 11.30.
The island has a growing population of around 230 people, with 18% of the population under 18, and at least 26% over the age of 60. There is a primary school in Craighouse, with older children travelling daily to the High School on Islay. Craighouse also contains the island’s hotel, café, whisky distillery, village hall, grocery shop and petrol pump. Jura has its own medical practice, with doctors who are resident on the island, situated next to the Jura Care Centre which provides 5 flats for older members of the community, and a respite flat available for short term use.
Residents are focussed along the road running for 27 miles up the east coast of the island. Access to the rest of the island’s 142 square miles, described as being one of Scotland’s last wildernesses, is by boat, hill vehicle or on foot. The landscape is dominated by the Paps of Jura, which form part of the course for the annual Jura Fell Race, which sees the population of the island more than double for the weekend at the end of May as competitors come from all over the world to take part.
A number of community run groups on the island ensure a range of activities and facilities are developed. These include the Isle of Jura Development Trust, Jura Community Business, and Jura Juniors. Volunteers play a key role in providing Jura’s Fire Service and Coastguard teams, as well as organising a range of social activities throughout the year - the Jura Music Festival in September sees fans of traditional music flock to the island.
As well as the ferry links to Islay, Jura can be reached in the summer months by a direct service from Tayvallach by passenger RIB.
The church building is simple but attractive, with a warm and welcoming feel. A worship service is held every Sunday and the church is always open for residents or visitors, many of whom come to view the exhibition of old photos of Jura in the upstairs room.
Although the congregation is small, the church engages with the wider community and visitors to the island through special services and events, including:
Christmas service for the primary school
Carols round the village Christmas Tree
Family nativity service
Watchnight service on Christmas Eve
Easter egg hunt and shared lunch following Easter Sunday family service
Family harvest service followed by a shared lunch
Special Music Festival Service at the end of September
Providing the teas for the Regatta and the Christmas lights switch on
Regular features in Jura Jottings, the local monthly magazine
During the closure of church buildings due to the coronavirus pandemic, the congregation have been sending out activity packs to the primary school age children on the island.