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Also in the news / Community group to buy Fetlar kirk, fishing row, museum door remains broken, call for volunteers

The kirk in Fetlar.

A COMMUNITY group has been successful in its bid to buy the Fetlar kirk.

It is the first time a church set for closure has been taken over by a community group.

The Church of Scotland said the final details are still being worked out with the solicitors, “so it is not “signed, sealed, and delivered’ yet”.

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“But all going well they should take possession soon,” it added on Facebook. “We are really pleased that their hard work has paid off, and wish the whole Fetlar community every joy in their continued use of the church building.”

There are now a number of groups set up to keep kirks within the community following Church of Scotland’s decision in 2019 to close 20 of its buildings in Shetland.


NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has condemned a move by Norway to unilaterally increase its fisheries quota following the failure of negotiations with the UK, calling the action “irresponsible”.

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Norway has moved to raise its annual north-east Atlantic mackerel quota by more than half.

Faroe has reportedly done the same, leading to Scottish fishermen urging retailers and food suppliers to halt purchases of Norwegian and Faroese mackerel.

“The sea unites us all – to force through a self-serving rise in quota without consulting with neighbouring countries is not just poor behaviour diplomatically but short-sighted environmentally,” Carmichael said.

“All coastal communities have an interest in the sustainable future of the sea and the fisheries that we share. This action is irresponsible and will do no one any good in the long run.”

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Shetland Fishermen’s Association officer Simon Collins said it was an “outrageous move”.


THE REVOLVING door at the Shetland Museum and Archives is still not fixed after breaking down last year – and it may prove too costly to repair.

Over the last number of months people have been ushered into the museum via a small side door, while another entrance has been used by Ability Shetland for almost a year for people with accessibility needs.

Shetland Museum and Archives.

Interim chief executive of museum operator Shetland Amenity Trust Sandy Middleton said as it would cost a “significant” amount to repair the door, alternative options are being explored such as removing it and adapting the entrance.

“The door is specially designed to help us maintain appropriate humidity levels in the museum for the care of the collections whilst providing an accessible and welcoming entrance,” she said.

“Given this, the repair costs are significant and unfortunately not guaranteed to work so we are exploring alternative options to remove the existing door and to adapt the entrance way.

“We currently have an alternative entrance and exit in place which is working well and an alternative accessible entrance which Ability Shetland are using on their weekly visits.”

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Ability Shetland team leader Stephanie Bain said the charity using a separate entrance is not the most “inclusive” – but it being located near to the cafe, where participants meet weekly, is helpful.

She said the charity has been “really lucky to use the museum during the pandemic as the museum were open to us when others weren’t”.

Bain added that the charity is grateful to the trust for hiring out the venue to “ensure our club for adults with physical health conditions could continue to meet following a very isolating period”.


CHARITY Clan Cancer Support is looking for volunteers to help out during its Light the North project, which will see 50 2.5m-tall lighthouses placed around the North East of Scotland and the Northern Isles.

The trail starts on 9 August for ten weeks and also features 90 smaller lighthouses designed by schools and community groups.

Clan is looking for volunteers from across the region and islands to help throughout the trail, the farewell weekend and auction with various roles available.

At the end of the trail, the 50 large lighthouses, designed by artists, will be displayed and auctioned off on 1 November to raise funds for the charity.

Clan is urging those interested in volunteering to get in touch today via their website or by email lighthousekeeper@clancancersupport.org.

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