“And this happens to many people sadly and on many occasions across the world we know it is happening. In Syria we know it is happening, in Yemen. Unfortunately today it’s happening to people in Barra.”The Rev Dr Lindsay Schluter, the Church of Scotland minister for Barra and South Uist congregations, said it was a small close-knit population and everybody had been affected by the tragedy.She added: “The events in Manchester and the way they have impacted on two families here has come as a great shock to everyone.”People have been numbed by what has happened to the two girls and everybody continues to be very anxious about their welfare.”People in the community have been very supportive of the families, deeply prayerfully so. As one person here has said, ‘Manchester and its people are so much closer to Barra than anyone ever had realised’.”Barra is at the southern end of the Western Isles archipelago and nearly 75 per cent of the population can speak Gaelic. Laura’s parents, Michael, a fish farmer worker, and his wife Margaret, are understood to be at her bedside.She is being treated for injuries including burns and is said to be in a serious condition. It is thought the girls may have been close to the explosion. Laura MacIntyre and Eilidh MacLeod travelled to Manchester from the Isle of Barra Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, who visited members of both families on the island, said it was a “time of terrible anguish” for them.He added: “Spending time with the relatives of both girls was a reminder of the human cost of acts of terror. Such acts leave families broken, lives scarred and innocence destroyed, my thoughts and prayers are with the families at this traumatic time.”The local priest, Fr John Paul MacKinnon, said Barra was an island of “close bonds and deep faith”, adding: “The ripples of pain spreading out from the terrible events in Manchester on Monday night are amplified here in such a small community.“While everyone in the community is affected, it is the families of Eilidh and Laura who are in the greatest pain. The Church joins with the whole community in praying for them and offering them every support.”The girls are pupils at Castlebay Community School, where pupils could be allowed some dispensation over their exams as a result of the tragedy.A spokesman for Western Isles Council said it was in talks with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) over the exceptional circumstances for the pupils, many of whom are due to sit exams in the next week.Meanwhile, more armed officers have been deployed across Scotland for the “forseeable future”.Police Scotland is also reviewing its plans for major public events, including the Scottish Cup Final this weekendThe Chief Constable, Phil Gormley, said the force would be increasing its operations around the country to protect people, businesses and public places. please please keep searching for my best friend Eilidh MacLeod💗🙏 #ManchesterBombing #MissingInManchester #manchesterattack pic.twitter.com/vMO4S9UC91— sam (@sammchardyy) May 23, 2017 Angus MacNeil, the SNP candidate for the Western Isles and a close friend of the families, said people were trying to make sense of the tragedy.He told BBC Scotland: “It is difficult for the community. People are trying to make sense of how this could happen, how you could leave a wee place like Barra and be caught up, two young girls from here.“But of course everybody is from somewhere small, or from a small house somewhere, or a small street, a small village or a small town, or are missed by a small group of people. He added: ”What we did yesterday morning in the immediate aftermath was substantially increase the number of armed officers available deployed across Scotland particularly to crowded places… We’ve augmented that through the night,” he said.”We have plans to be able to maintain that for the foreseeable future.”However, he added that there was no intelligence to suggest a specific threat to Scotland. Famed for its white sand beaches and its beach airstrip, the island has a population of just over 1,000 and was previously named Britain’s best island community. A teenager from the Isle of Barra is still missing following the Manchester terror attack while her friend is being treated in hospital.Eilidh MacLeod, 14, travelled to the concert with her school friend Laura MacIntyre, 15, who was located in hospital nearly 20 hours after the incident.Eilidh’s parents, Roddy and Marion, are in the city but have had no news of her since the end of the concert when the girls texted Mrs MacLeod to say the last song had started and they would be out soon.Donald Manford, Eilidh’s great uncle, said: “We have no confirmation of anything. We know they are working very hard and we are increasingly anxious as the time goes by. We are just waiting. Members of the family have travelled south and others are presently travelling south. Police Scotland are keeping us advised and informed.”The girls come from a largely Gaelic-speaking community where serious crime is virtually unknown and were at the concert as a special treat for Eilidh’s birthday. A relative said it was also a reward for their efforts at the island’s 170-pupil community school.Residents said there was shock and disbelief on the remote island that it had been so tragically caught up in the terrorist attack. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.