To trace religion in Unst it is necessary to go back to the arrival of the ‘Papar’, the Monks who came here from the West of Scotland and Ireland. Thanks to the Vikings who named everything in sight we know where their bases were. We know little of their day to day life except what is known from places like Iona. Some 24 small chapels have been located in Unst but it is difficult to know how many were in use at any given time. By style some can be dated to the 11th. Century. The Vikings were converted about 1000 AD. when their king decreed it, so perhaps they were responsible for some of the chapels.
What is believed to be a Monk’s Retreat can be seen at the exposed top of the Blue Mull. Simple stone rectangular cells there offer ‘food for thought’ and not much else except a spectacular view of Blue Mull Sound and North Yell.
The Unst Church of Scotland was very involved in the Disruption owing to the involvement of the Rev James Ingram and his son John.
The Methodist Church has had a strong following in North Unst and the ‘new’ Methodist Church is a beautiful building, constructed by volunteer labour.