Introduction / The Island
Old maps of Pharay do indicate the site of a chapel on Pharay near Kirk Noust on the west side but this is so long ago that little is known about it. There was no subsequent church although the Church of Scotland did hold services, usually twice a year. One of the principal purposes of the Stewart Endowment, when it was set up was to provide for religious needs with specific mention of those areas of the North Isles where there was no minister.
Sometimes there would be travelling evangelists who would come and stay at one of the houses and have a meeting in the school. In the 1930s, William Groat of Cott would lead services on Sunday nights, which were well attended. Rev John Nivison from Eday came over two or three Sundays in summer to take a service.
Church attendance required a boat trip to church in Eday.
There was a burial ground on Pharay near the site of the chapel, which was the final resting place in the old days.