Community / Community ready to face the challenge of taking on Lunna kirk

Lunna Kirk. Photo: Shetland News

AROUND 40 people turned out for a meeting in the Vidlin hall last night to discuss the future of Lunna Kirk.

Earlier this month the Church of Scotland confirmed that would close and dispose of the historic kirk on the Lunna peninsula this year and expressed the hope that the local community would be in a position to take it on.

During the two hour meeting on Tuesday a steering committee to take things forward was formed.

One of the first actions will be community survey to allow everybody in the village to put forward their views and comments on the project.

This will likely happen over a two-week period and will be followed by a further community meeting, date to be confirmed.

One of the organisers, Emma Dawn Coote, said the general feeling of the meeting was to preserve the kirk as it is and to find a new use for it.


“It is clear that the community doesn’t want Lunna kirk to be sold to a private buyer,” she said.

Tuesday night’s meeting was also attended by the Rev Fran Henderson and the Rev to Lynn Brady to provide information on how a church building can be sold into community ownership.

The council’s community involvement and development officer for the Lunnasting area Frances Browne was also at the meeting to give guidance on community ownership and the processes involved.

Coote said an online petition organised by the family of the late David Howarth, author of an authoritative book on the Shetland Bus wartime operation, had been of tremendous help in raising awareness beyond Lunnasting.

A contact e-mail address lunnakirkcommunitygroup@hotmail.com  has now been set up for people to ask questions, put forward proposals or register their interest to help out as a volunteer.

The sale of Lunna Kirk is part of a major re-structuring of the Church of Scotland in Shetland with the sale of 20 of its 31 church buildings in Shetland.

In early February the Church of Scotland confirmed the final phase of that programme with the closure of the churches at Lunna, Tingwall, Whalsay, Gulberwick, Dunrossness and Out Skerries.

Last week the Bigton Collective was handed the keys to the St Ninian’s Church following a community buyout.

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.



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.