appeal2017

The Friends of the Cathedral of The Isles exist to support the mission and ministry of the Cathedral & College and provide invaluable help in maintaining and developing the facilities that we have on offer here. The Friends are currently running an appeal to raise funds to allow us to refurbish parts of the College, Cathedral and our Annexe. We are pleased to present details of the appeal below.


The College of The Holy Spirit and its chapel opened in 1851 as a theological college within the blossoming Tractarian Movement that was emerging from Oxford, where the College’s founder had studied. The intention was to provide a training college for the Scottish Episcopal Church where the liturgical practices being rediscovered by the movement could be developed.   The place became something of a cradle for the Oxford Movement in Scotland, with its influence spreading across the globe. Its chapel was consecrated as Cathedral of The Isles in 1876.

With the collapse of the Glasgow banks in 1885 funding for the training of priests at the College & Cathedral dried up. Since then it has survived in various incarnations and today the Cathedral continues to serve the Diocese of Argyll & The Isles with the College being run as a retreat centre and three star Guest House. It offers accommodation to groups and individuals as well as running its own Open Programme for those seeking to explore, refresh and renew their own spiritual lives.

In order for our work to continue to flourish we now need your help to retain the rooms at three-star standard, to further renovate the Cathedral Annexe for use by members of the local community, and to restore parts of the Cathedral.

We are delighted that Lady Isabel Glasgow has agreed to support our appeal as its patron.

What we want to do next

The Guest Rooms will all need general refurbishment; for example new carpets and furniture, a general coat of paint and replacement of appliances for more environmentally-friendly ones. Hanging new prints of local views and images of the Cathedral and its grounds will add further to a sense of place. The very special character of this building will be retained whilst the guests will enjoy greater comfort.

The Cathedral Annexe has been mostly unused until recently. We are now working in partnership with Millport Art Group who have worked wonders in converting some of the rooms into a Community Art Studio. This has provided the college with a wonderful resource and increased our engagement with the local community enormously. We would like to build on this but in order to do so now need to repair or renew flooring in several rooms, redecorate walls damaged by damp and repair window frames, plumbing and sewerage.

The Cathedral Church itself needs repair. Some of the floor and wall tiles, very much a feature of the work of the world-renowned architect, William Butterfield, are damaged. In addition, the restoration of the painted ceiling in the chancel would greatly enhance the beauty of the Cathedral which can be enjoyed by all, every day of the year.

All of this will help us to attract visitors, to continue to develop our work and mission, and to care for these buildings and the people who use and stay in them.

The total cost is expected to be around £60,000.

Please will you help us?

You can do so by donating today. A gift of any amount will make a real difference as we work towards achieving our goal. You can do this by:

Sending a cheque or CAF Voucher to the Cathedral & College made payable to ‘Friends of The Cathedral of The Isles’

Donating via Card Card or PayPal through the Friends’ website.

If you are a UK taxpayer then please download and return the form on our appeal leaflet.

Thank you