A PUBLIC meeting is to take place on Monday (15 July) that could decide the fate of the disused Church of Scotland in Quarff.
The state of the roof of the church, disused for many years now, is such that public safety could be at risk, with loose slates held on by a piece of netting.
The churchyard is still used as a public burial ground and the parish war memorial is built into the gable of the church, with possible implications for public safety.
The church fell into the hands of Quarff Church Trust in the 1990s, when it was already in a noticeably poor state of repair, after passing through private hands.
Shetland Islands Council has written to one of the church’s trustees drawing attention to the poor state of repair of the grade B listed building’s roof.
The church, built in 1829, is listed as “at risk” in the Register for Scotland list.
Shetland south councillor Robbie McGregor said that a public meeting was being arranged to discuss the condition of the church and how to tackle the safety issue.
“Loose slates coming off the roof is the main problem. This situation now also makes resolving the move of the war memorial away from the building a matter of some urgency,” McGregor said.
“A large turnout of local residents is urgently requested,” he added.
One of the options being considered is to move the war memorial, which is also in a poor state of repair, to another part of the churchyard away from the actual church.
McGregor said: “We are concerned about the condition of the war memorial itself and concerned about the safety of anyone looking at it.
“The War Memorial Trust is prepared to offer some assistance but the majority of the funding would need to be sought elsewhere.”