A visit to Howmore is an essential element of any tour of South Uist. The road through the hamlet comes to an end in a car park in front of Howmore Church, one of two churches serving the Church of Scotland's South Uist Parish.
Howmore Church, built in 1858, is only the latest in a long series of churches and chapels to have stood in Howmore. The remains of most of the others stand a little to the east, beyond the crofters' hostel. These include the largest, St Mary's or Teampull Mor.
Though not obvious from the Ordnance Survey map, Howmore Church stands on slightly higher ground than its immediate surroundings. Combined with its white harled exterior, this makes it visible from a considerable distance away, especially from the south. It has also traditionally been used as a landmark by fishermen off the west coast of South Uist.
The church itself is fairly plain, with a bellcote above the east gable and an annex attached to the north west corner. Internally the church is of interest primarily because of the long central communion table, something found very rarely in Scotland.
The east end of the church has been closed off by curtains, both at ground floor level and in the gallery. These are presumably intended to give the west end of the church a more intimate and comfortable feel when in use. Interior decor is an attractive mix of mid-toned wood panelling up to waist level (and in the gallery) and lighter paintwork above.
Entry is via a lobby that runs the width of the west end of the church, giving internal doors which open either side of the communion table, as it effectively splits the church lengthways in two. We're not sure if there's any significance, but a hat hanging on the coat rack in the lobby at the time of our last visit was, we are fairly sure, unmoved since an earlier visit four years previously.
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Grid Ref: NF 756 364