UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Tuesday 16 July 2024
 11.4°C   SSW Light Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / New plan maps out timetable for church closures

Lunna Kirk. Photo: Shetland News

MORE information has been provided about when a number of churches in Shetland will be closed and sold off.

It comes after the Church of Scotland approved a new ten-year plan for Aberdeen and Shetland at the weekend.

The virtual meeting was held on Saturday to discuss the plan after the new presbytery of Aberdeen and Shetland was launched earlier this year.

Among the ten-year plan is a rough update on the organisation’s closure of a number of Shetland churches as it looks to make its operations in the isles more efficient.

The churches due to be closed and disposed off in 2020/21 are Weisdale, Sullom, Bigton, Fair Isle, Quarff, Sand and Fetlar.

Rev Hutton Steel.

Yell’s Hamnavoe church is also due to close in 2020/21 but there is a possible community purchase.

In 2021/22 Tingwall, Voe, Hillswick, Dunrossness, Cunningsburgh, Gulberwick, Whalsay and Foula are due to close, as well as the oldest kirk still in use in Shetland at Lunna.

Skerries and Sandness are also set to close in 2021/22 but the Church of Scotland says there are possible community purchases in the offing.

Figures for the churches due to remain in Shetland show that they have a combined congregation of 976, with one third of that located at Lerwick’s St Colmuba’s.

There are also plans for renovation and redevelopment of the Burra church at Bridge End, as well as Scalloway.

The number of full-time equivalent jobs in the ten-year plan across Aberdeen and Shetland is a combined total of 38, which is in effect a reduction of eight from the last round of planning.

Presbytery moderator Rev Hutton Steel said after the weekend’s meeting: “Today’s meeting was a long one and recognised the importance of the Presbytery Plan for all the parish churches and for the future make-up of the Church of Scotland in Aberdeen and Shetland.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

“I have to pay tribute to the work of the Presbytery’s planning and deployment committee for two years of hard work in getting us to this point.

“As a Presbytery we must acknowledge that we could not please everyone, but the decisions collectively made today set out a path for us all to follow for the next ten years and builds upon past foundations of the Church to see us into the future.”

Rev Scott Rennie, convener of the Presbytery’s planning and deployment committee, added: “There’s been a huge amount of work, debate, consultation and changes over more than two years of putting together the Presbytery Plan.

“I’m delighted that, at the end of Saturday’s meeting, the Plan was accepted and adopted unanimously by the members of Presbytery. However, we’re not finished.

“In fact, in many ways this is the real start of the work of meeting the national Church’s goals of having well-equipped spaces in the right places. Well-equipped to continue God’s Kingdom on earth, well-equipped to continue the valuable work of churches in supporting and developing the communities they’re very much part of.”

It is anticipated that the presbytery plan will be ratified by the national church via the faith nurture forum in the near future.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.