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Community / Have your say on future of churches earmarked for closure

Bigton KirkThe Bigton Kirk is one of the buildings set to close.

PEOPLE are being invited to say their say on the upcoming church closures planned in Shetland.

The Church of Scotland’s digital consultation comes as a result of public meetings with communities being shelved due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The first round of surveys will coincide with churches set to close in 2020/21.

They are St Ninian’s Church in Bigton, Weisdale Kirk, Fetlar Kirk, Sullom Kirk, Fair Isle Kirk, St Magnus Kirk in Yell and Quarff Kirk.

More churches are set to close in 2021/22 as the Church of Scotland makes its operations in Shetland more efficient.

The consultation will close at midnight on 17 August. More surveys will launch in the coming months.

Transition minister for the Shetland parish Rev Dr Fran Henderson said: “Ideally, we would have had face-to-face public community meetings about the upcoming closures, but unfortunately only one – at Sand church – was able to go ahead due to the lockdown measures.

“We are concerned that communities need to have their say on what’s going to happen to our church buildings when they are sold, so we have therefore moved our public consultation online.

“No guarantees can be made, but alongside our legal duties as charity trustees, all suggestions and requests received will be taken fully into consideration as we make decisions about the future of these buildings and their contents.”

For those who would prefer to share their responses to the survey in writing, contact Rev Dr Fran Henderson at Church of Scotland Manse, Brae, Shetland, ZE2 9QJ.