this is an ancient parish with roots in the once thriving keltic church systems of culdees and is a growing and enterprising community of followers.
Before His Ascension, Jesus commanded His disciples to go to every nation and to preach the good news to all people (Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15). The disciples scattered and took the news of Jesus' death and resurrection throughout the Roman Empire. Eusebius (Bishop of Alexandria, noted historian and theologian who wrote the first comprehensive history of the early church and was present at Council of Nicea) says the apostles traveled to all points of the compass spreading the Good News. Within a short time churches were established in North Africa, Asia Minor and the European continent as reported in Acts. Historians and the Early Church Fathers tell us that the faith was brought to the Brittanic Isles too by Joseph of Arimathea.
Joseph of Arimathaea was a tin merchant and we’re told in Mat 27:57 that he was wealthy and in John 19:38 a secret follower of Jesus. The Talmud tells us he was Mary’s father’s youngest brother or Mary’s uncle. Even though Joseph of Arimathea had attempted to keep his love for Jesus a secret, he boldly went to Pilot and asked for the body of Jesus to be entombed properly.e first to preach the Gospel in Britain is also confirmed by many other writers. St. Gregory of Tours in his History of the Franks, and Haleca, Archbishop of Saragossa in his Fragments. IN The famous Vatican Library, Cardinal Baronius, discovered an ancient MS in the telling of Joseph of Arimathaea and the mission trip to Marseilles in 36 A. D. The Vatican recently released the contents of this document to the public to counter Dan Brown’s allegations that Mary Magdeline bore Christ’s child. This document lists all members of that mission trip, of which Mary was a member along with Lazarus and nine others.
The Village is remote, small, friendly and totally charming. Tayvallich's old Gaelic name is 'Tigh a'Bhealaich which translates as 'House of the pass' referring to days long gone by when drovers came by here with their cattle to take them to the tryst or market. There are no pavements here just a single track road which is shared equally by locals and tourists alike. The village has a small hotel and shop which includes a coffee shop. Despite its small size visitors are well catered for, there is a campsite and holiday homes complete with stunning walking areas and of course fantastic scenery. I did wonder why it seemed just a little busy, but then I realised this is the place where visitors can take the passenger ferry to Jura for a short day trip. At the end of the village there is a community centre with tennis courts open to visitors as well as locals, it is at this point you will find the public toilets just in case you are in need. Like the toilets parking is free - there is no car park just find a space at the edge of the loch and everything is fine. When we were reluctantly leaving the village - a woman was leading a horse and Shetland pony - we stopped to give way to her but she cheerily waved us on. So typical of a small village with kindness and consideration for strangers.
North Knapdale Parish Church is an unassuming Church which belongs to the Church of Scotland so no surprises here. I was pleased. given the last sentence to see this Parish did recognise the Easter Period - for me the most important celebration in the Christian Church. The architecture of the Church was much of a muchness - but it did differ from the normal dark stone Churches with its white stone and bonny pink corner stones. The cute gable which houses the church bell is quite unusual and very striking. I was impressed that the people of Tayvallich had included a daffodil cross for an Easter Blessing. Such a simple decoration which speaks of the coming of Spring and the promise of the future to follow. I found this cross quite inspiring, simplistic, yes, but encompassed the Spring and Easter message perfectly.
This most beautiful of Lochs sometimes goes by the name of a'Bhealaich which simply means the pass, but its surreal and serene charm and picture perfectness can never be surpassed. The Loch extends into Loch Sween - its Gaelic name of Suibhne is much softer, a bit like the loch and again more fitting and romantic. The colours of the sky were perfectly reflected into the loch and the gentle yachts accompanied by the colourful buoys did not disturb the surface of the water. If I could paint a picture of peace and tranquility I would paint a'Bhealaich.