The first service held by the Scottish Episcopal Church on Mull took place in 1864 at the Industrial Female School in Salen, and was conducted by a minister who had come to the island from his normal patch covering Moidart and Morvern. Thereafter, services were held in rotation in a number of the larger houses on the island.
In June 1873 work began on the building of St Columba's Episcopal Church at Gruline. The site was chosen partly because of its location near the geographical centre of Mull, and partly because land was owned there by one of the church's two funders, Colonel Greenhill-Gardyne of Glenforsa House (now known as Gruline House).
The remainder of the funding came from another Mull laird, Captain Parr of Killiechronan.
The first services in the new St Columba's Church took place in June 1874, with 26 people attending the English service in the morning and 47 attending the evening service in Gaelic. The church became the first to be consecrated on Mull for a number of centuries on Sunday 4 July 1875.
Internally, St Columba's is an attractive church with a tranquil atmosphere that benefits greatly from the varied collection of stained glass windows. These date back to various periods in the church's life, many being donated in memory of notable members of the congregation.
In common with a number of other Episcopal Churches in remote areas of Scotland, ensuring the availability of a Priest-in-Charge has sometimes been a challenge: and it is far from unknown for someone to have to travel from Glencoe, 50 miles and two ferry rides away, in order to take services. During the summer, services and pastoral work is often undertaken by Anglican priests who come for working holidays on the island.
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Grid Ref: NM 547 406