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TITLE
Two Communion Tokens from Skye
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_ARCH_0003
PLACENAME
Hallin
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Duirinish
PERIOD
1810s; 1820s; 1830s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
12815
KEYWORDS
religion
communion
church
Two Communion Tokens from Skye

These rather crudely made communion tokens are 2.4 cm in diameter and probably made of lead. They were found a few inches below the surface of the current path of the old Church of Scotland at Waternish, in the parish of Duirinish. The parish name is now always spelt with an 'i/I', but in the past it was sometimes omitted, as on these tokens.

The initials 'J.S.' on the reverse refers to the minister of the church at the time the tokens were produced. In fact, there were two ministers in the post who both had the same initials, Rev John Shaw from 1811 to 1813, and Rev. James MacGregor Souter from 1814 to 1836.

Communion tokens were used extensively in the Presbyterian Church in Scotland from the 17th to the 19th centuries. They were simply a metal 'ticket' which allowed the holder to partake of communion, not only in the Established Church but also other Presbyterian forms. As the communion service was an important Sacrament and only took place once or twice a year, the tokens were only given to those in the congregation considered worthy enough. The tokens were usually distributed by the elders, and communicants then surrendered their tokens either approaching the communion table, or when seated.

Early examples, and those perhaps from small congregations, were simple discs with the name of the church, the date and sometimes the initial of the minister punched into lead. Moulds were used later to create more complex designs, and some tokens carried symbols such as the burning bush or a communion cup, as well as inscriptions. By 1900 the tokens were mostly replaced by cards


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Two Communion Tokens from Skye

INVERNESS: Duirinish

1810s; 1820s; 1830s

religion; communion; church

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Artefact Collection, Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

These rather crudely made communion tokens are 2.4 cm in diameter and probably made of lead. They were found a few inches below the surface of the current path of the old Church of Scotland at Waternish, in the parish of Duirinish. The parish name is now always spelt with an 'i/I', but in the past it was sometimes omitted, as on these tokens.<br /> <br /> The initials 'J.S.' on the reverse refers to the minister of the church at the time the tokens were produced. In fact, there were two ministers in the post who both had the same initials, Rev John Shaw from 1811 to 1813, and Rev. James MacGregor Souter from 1814 to 1836.<br /> <br /> Communion tokens were used extensively in the Presbyterian Church in Scotland from the 17th to the 19th centuries. They were simply a metal 'ticket' which allowed the holder to partake of communion, not only in the Established Church but also other Presbyterian forms. As the communion service was an important Sacrament and only took place once or twice a year, the tokens were only given to those in the congregation considered worthy enough. The tokens were usually distributed by the elders, and communicants then surrendered their tokens either approaching the communion table, or when seated.<br /> <br /> Early examples, and those perhaps from small congregations, were simple discs with the name of the church, the date and sometimes the initial of the minister punched into lead. Moulds were used later to create more complex designs, and some tokens carried symbols such as the burning bush or a communion cup, as well as inscriptions. By 1900 the tokens were mostly replaced by cards <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href= "mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com" >Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a><br />