Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / Local residents united behind taking Lunna Kirk into community ownership

Lunna Kirk, Shetland's oldest kirk still in use, is set to close and be sold. Photo: Shetland News

ANOTHER meeting will be held in the Vidlin hall at the end of the month after a staggering 99 per cent of local residents came out in support of buying Lunna Kirk from the Church of Scotland on behalf of the community.

A survey was circulated throughout Lunnasting to gauge the views of local people after the Church of Scotland confirmed its plans to close and dispose of the historic kirk.

Over 70 per cent of those responded to the survey wanted to keep the kirk as it is, keep it open to any denomination and use the building for events such as weddings, funerals, christenings, Christmas carols and as an “appropriate music venue”.

Described as the oldest church in Shetland still in use, Lunna Kirk’s historic significance goes far beyond the boundaries of the Lunnasting parish.

The family of David Howarth, who has vividly described the Shetland Bus operation during the Second World War, started a petition to Save Lunna Kirk which has gathered well over 2,000 signatures.

The community is now asked to attend a meeting in the local hall on 29 March, starting at 7pm, to discuss the findings of the survey and take the process of achieving community ownership forward.

Anyone willing to become a committee member or give time as a volunteer is asked to come to the meeting or contact the steering group via e-mail lunnakirkcommunitygroup@hotmail.com.

The Church of Scotland has always maintained that would like to see a viable long-term community-based future for the kirk.

The church has also said it would assist with the process but has ruled out that it would gift the building.