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Community / Church of Scotland keen to assist Hillswick kirk community group

Inside the Hillswick kirk. Photo: Church of Scotland

THE CHURCH in Hillswick has been taken off the market temporarily to allow a community group to be formed for its possible purchase.

The Church of Scotland said it would be “very pleased to help the proposed community group in any way we can”.

A ‘Friends of the Hillswick Kirk’ Facebook group was launched last month after the 150-year-old church went on the market for offers over £40,000.

Photo: Church of Scotland.

Local resident Tom Morton claimed there had been a lack of consultation with the general community, but the church said the kirk went on the market when it did because of its deteriorating condition.

The Facebook group aimed to bring the community together to formulate possible ideas for future uses.

It appears to have made some impact already, with the Church of Scotland taking down the ‘for sale’ signs and removing the listing from its website to allow time for a community bid to be mounted.

The next steps for the group would be to establish a formal community body.

The Hillswick kirk was one of 20 in Shetland which were earmarked for closure back in 2018.

A Church of Scotland spokesman said: “The former Presbytery of Shetland first announced their intention to sell Hillswick Church in October 2018, and since then have always been amenable to discussion with potential buyers.

“The Church of Scotland will be very pleased to help the proposed community group in any way we can.”

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021