Remote, isolated and escape are three words that are often associated with the Isle of Tiree. One intrepid explorer has said, “Escape from reality. Tiree is a place where you can go and forget about everything that is going on in the real world and just chill out.”
Without wanting to deter visitors or businesses from coming to the island, all the cares of the world come into most island homes every day through the medium of television, radio and the internet. Our remaining store still stocks newspapers when the plane gets in – and that is most days! Many on the island are linked not just by telephone, but also by social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Skype and FaceTime are available to those connected to the internet. So, here on Tiree we are aware of what is happening on the Mainland, of current crisis and of the major issues of the day.
The Isle of Tiree is remote but it is not removed from the real world. In fact, the island has its own real world issues. Some may come on holiday to escape, but living here is not escapism. Undoubtedly, there is a real sense of security that many feel because of the island’s perceived isolation, but most islanders are not uninformed.
There is a debt crisis in the world, a reality many are experiencing first hand, day in day out. ‘Christians Against Poverty’ is a national charity, working across the UK to lift people out of debt and poverty. They offer free debt counselling through a network of 239 debt centres based in local churches. They are a group of people who are passionate about lifting people out of poverty, standing up for those who can’t speak for themselves and bringing justice and good news to the poor. Although they receive no government funding, they are currently half way to achieving their vision of having a CAP Debt Centre in every town and city in the UK so they can reach everyone suffering in debt as quickly as they can.
There is a saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” For many in the UK and abroad, ‘Food Banks’ meet an immediate need, food on the table. In short, it is not an either or situation, both are required; the immediate help that ‘food banks’ offer and the kind of help that ‘Christians Against Poverty’ offers.
On Saturday, 22nd March, 12 – 3 pm, Tiree Baptist Church are hosting a Soup and Sandwich Lunch at An Talla (the Community Hall). Lunch is free, but donations are welcome and will be forwarded to ‘Christians Against Poverty’.
‘Mainly Music’ is a fun Music Group held in An Talla every second Tuesday during term time. The aim is to provide an environment where preschool children develop skills to enhance their preschool education, through the use of music, rhythm, rhyme, and other music related activities with the participation of a parent or primary caregiver.
The leaders of ‘Mainly Music’ on Tiree want to link with a church in Lebanon who are establishing a ‘Mainly Music’ Group for Syrian Refugees. Caught up in circumstances beyond their control they will be able to experience the fun, the connection, the togetherness – in another part of the world so far away from us. Convinced of the value of ‘Mainly Music,’ the organisers of Tiree’s group are hoping to partner with this group in Lebanon.
We did not come to Tiree to escape from life, but to live life.