August 2012 Open Day

Ui Church Open Day The Open Day on 11th August went very well indeed. The weather was perfect and about 200 people came to see the church and graveyard. The stone conservators were working that day, so people were able to watch them work and to discuss some of the stones with them. During the day two very familiar slabs – Roderick VII and the Mackinnon slab were cleaned and work started on the Mackenzie Stone; a stone with a sword was identified as belonging to a Knight Templar and the outline of a bishop was identified on another stone. Also another, more recent, stone inside the church was discussed in depth, with relatives of those buried there discussing family history in some detail.

Visitors had a chance to discuss future options and how best to conserve the most important grave slabs with the Project Manager - Krystyna Pytasz of Addison Conservation and Design, Graeme Brown, Stone Mason and directors of the Urras.

The Urras had a stall which made well over £700 between people becoming Friends of Ui Church, sales of Colin Scott Mackenzie's book as well as other merchandise and donations. The overwhelming mood of the day was positive, with numerous complex discussions about family histories and who is buried where. Many people commented on how good the graveyard looked with the grass cut. The idea of the Urras focussing on the graveyard when the current project is finished provoked much interest and enthusiasm – it was noticeable that although people were very appreciative that the church is now secure, it is the history contained in the grave stones that really fascinates people – both locally and nationally.