From hermitages on wind-blasted holms to dour nineteenth-century preaching barns; from a splendid cathedral founded by a Norse earl to a Nissen hut painted by Italian prisoners during the Second World War; from city kirks built for huge and earnest Presbyterian congregations, to a diminutive Roman Catholic chapel converted from a byre - Orkney's churches are diverse in scale, age, style and history, but all are built for one purpose. Jocelyn Rendall tells the fascinating story of an islands' people through the records of these churches. From reluctant pagans to zealous firebrands and all in between, the tales on which these records shed light range from the hilarious to the heartbreaking. Orkney acts as a microcosm for the nation, concentrating the extremes of a rich and varied social history. With evocative illustrations by Crispin Worthington.