Kilmonivaig Parish Church is a Church of Scotland congregation in Lochaber. We serve one of the largest parish areas in Scotland. The church building is on the A82 just north of Spean Bridge, near the Commando Memorial.
The name Kilmonivaig comes from “Kil” meaning church or cell, “Mo” meaning saint or holy and “Nivaig”, who was a sixth-century abbot of Lismore. He established a church near Gairlochy beside the river Lochy. It was liable to flooding and collapsed in the 1770s. The present church was built around 1814 and the chancel area was added in the 1920s. The large stained glass window on the chancel wall is the official War Memorial for the parish of Kilmonivaig.
Kilmonivaig parish lies to the north east of Fort William, bounded on the west by the river Lochy and Loch Lochy and on the east by the Nevis range of mountains and by the Grey Corries and extending to Corrour and Loch Laggan. The main villages are Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Torlundy with other small hamlets and scattered housing. The land is mostly rough moorland with small pockets of arable land given over mostly to forestry, sheep, deer stalking and some cattle farming.
By car It takes about 1 ¼ hours to Inverness, 2 hours to Perth and 2 ½ hours to Glasgow. There is a good bus service to Inverness, Glasgow and Skye. There are railway stations at Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge, Tulloch and Corrour on the West Highland line with several trains per day to Glasgow and the 8pm sleeper to London. There is a reasonable local bus service to Fort William from Spean Bridge and a less frequent service from Roy Bridge.
There are two golf courses in the parish, a 9 hole one at Spean Bridge and an 18 hole at Torlundy. Nevis Range has skiing and snowboarding in winter and mountain biking in summer and plays host to several national and world competitions. In Spean Bridge there is a good well drained playing field with changing facilities used by Lochaber Shinty Club, currently in the premier division. Shinty is well supported by the youth of the parish.
There is some good salmon fishing in the rivers Spean and Roy and on some lochs. There are many miles of cycle tracks and forest roads for cycling or walking and plenty of opportunity for hill walking and rock climbing
Many people in the parish work in the Fort William area. Tourism is important with a good range of accommodation ranging from small B & Bs , guest houses, self-catering establishments, and medium sized hotels to the top of the range Inverlochy Castle Hotel. Other employment opportunities include agriculture, forestry, fish farms, construction, transport, quarrying and a rapidly growing renewable energy industry. The Ben Nevis distillery is at the southern edge of the parish. Much of the mountainous land and associated water rights of the parish are owned by Rio Tinto/Alcan, but the power house and aluminium smelter are in Fort William.
There is a fairly new primary school and nursery in Spean Bridge. In Roy Bridge there is a primary school. Both schools are non-denominational and both welcome the parish minister and parish priest to assemblies on a regular basis. Secondary age children go to Lochaber High School in Fort William where a branch of Scripture Union meets on Wednesday lunchtimes. For tertiary education Lochaber College in Fort William runs courses in tourism and outdoor education but most young people have to leave home for tertiary education.