Our "parish" extends over two villages (Lochearnhead and Strathyre) and the extended settlement of Balquhidder itself. Based on the census taken in 2011, this area has a population of just under eight hundred people. The majority are older people, aged 45 and over, but there are over a hundred children and young people. There is a strong sense of community throughout the parish, although all three areas have their own characteristics. Various events throughout the year provide entertainment and are a draw for tourists and visitors. All three villages have their own village halls and these are well used for clubs, fund raising events etc. The minister has usually been a trustee of Balquhidder and Strathyre Halls. A Luncheon Club which is held in the Scout Station in Lochearnhead caters for folk from all three villages. Church members help with the organisation of the club and cooking of lunches. Most of these events give the minister the chance to meet local people as well as visitors.

Local employment is largely reliant on farming, forestry and tourism with many visitors coming to stay in the area and others passing through. In recent years, the trend of many properties being sold for holiday homes has eased, with more people coming to stay in the area and being self-employed or working in the hospitality sector. Internet connection is much improved and Balquhidder itself now boasts a service that is probably unrivalled anywhere in the country!


Balquhidder Settlement

Lochearnhead Village

Strathyre Village

Location and History

The parish church is in the Kirkton of Balquhidder, Grid Ref: NN536209, along a minor road some three miles west of its junction with the A84. The present building was built in 1855 on a site close to the remains of two earlier churches and above the flood plain, where St Angus reputedly built a stone oratory sometime between 700 and 800 AD. Angus was buried higher up the slope and an engraved flagstone is said to have covered his grave. This stone is now inside the present Church. In 1631, a small, stone church was built partially over an earlier site, Eaglas Beag, said to have been built over St Angus' grave. This fell into disrepair and the present church was opened for worship in 1855.

The Church is a “B” listed building and houses a display of artefacts and literature covering all aspects of its history. Of interest (and still in use) are the very old wooden offering ladles with their long handles which can reach the length of the pews. Also in use to this day is an ancient stone basin, similar to others in the area, which is the font. It is used in baptisms, although a pewter quaich holds the baptismal water these days.

In 1996, Balquhidder Church was linked with Killin & Ardeonaig Parish Church and the Minister lives in the manse at Killin. For a detailed history of the church, see the guide to Balquhidder Church by Elizabeth Beauchamp which is available from the church.

Lochearnhead and Strathyre both had churches, which were also built in the 19th century, but these were sold in 1987 and are now private homes. This means that, apart from the tiny Episcopalian church of St Angus in Lochearnhead, the parish church is located in Balquhidder, on a minor road some five or six miles from the two main villages. The parish graveyard has always been in Balquhidder.

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