Eriskay is regarded by many as the highlight of a tour of the Western Isles. It's main village is Am Baile, and the village is dominated by St Michael's RC Church, ideally placed to look south over the village to the rest of the island, or north to South Uist and to the Eriskay Causeway, built in 2001.
Ironically, the building of the causeway brought to an end St Michael's 107 year span as an independent parish: since then it has been linked with St Peter's in Daliburgh on South Uist, though a measure of independence has been retained.
St Michael's was built in 1903. Externally, the most notable aspects of the design are the rounded north end and the belcote above the door on the east side of the church. Less noticeable is the handrail that runs round the exterior wall of the church: we suspect this is to assist members of the congregation attending services in what must be a very exposed location in high winds.
Internally the church is larger than you'd expect. Accommodation is boosted by the gallery at the south end of the church, and the focus of all attention is the altar in the curved north end. This celebrates the island's fishing heritage and is in the form of the prow of a boat. It was designed by a former parish priest, Father Calum MacNeill.
The church is dedicated to St Michael the Archangel, one of the Western Isles' patron saints. His feast day is celebrated on 29 September each year and is traditionally marked by the baking of a special cake called the "struathan", from Strùthan na h-Eill Mìcheil.