Point Free Church (left) and Knock Free Church (right)

The two main churches in Point are set to merge.

Congregations of Knock Free Church and Point Free Church recently took part in a ballot asking if they would approve of a merger, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

Knock Free Church is currently without a minister after its previous incumbent, the Rev James Maciver, took over at Stornoway Free Church earlier this year.

Rev Iain D. Campbell, who is the minister of Point Free Church, is currently the Interim Moderator of Knock Free Church, overseeing clerical matters for the congregation. 

He told www.welovestornoway.com: “Point Free Church was formed as a result of a split in the original Knock Free Church congregation in the 1960s. 

“The split has been, as someone described it, ‘a wound in the community’. 

“We decided that given the current vacancy in Knock Free Church, we would explore the possibility of a reunion, to see if we can get back to the situation which existed before the split, with just the one Free Church congregation in the district.”

A questionnaire was distributed to members and adherents of both congregations, and there was an overwhelming majority of returns ‘supporting the desirability of a reunion, and favouring discussions towards that end’. 

“That was a good green light for us to take it further,” said Rev Campbell. 

“The plan now is that the Kirk Sessions will meet, probably at the beginning of August, to draw up a roadmap for a period in which we can have joint services, etc. 

“We will review the situation to see how best to proceed.”

He added: “There are two church buildings and people are naturally very attached to their own building and their own routine. 

“That is an issue that will have to be handled sensitively. 

“I have said that we will make use of both buildings – there is no question of that. 

“Whatever happens in the long run, we will look to retain both buildings in the meantime.”