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Community / Ideas sought for Nesting Methodist church as closure looms

The Nesting Methodist chapel. Photo: Sylvia Anderson

THE METHODIST chapel in Nesting could be sold off in the near future as it struggles to remain viable.

The local Nesting development group is encouraging the community to suggest ideas for the building’s future use – as an alternative to it potentially being sold to a private buyer.

The chapel was built in 1857 and extended around the 1930s.

Dr Andrew Fox, of the local Methodist district, said prior to the Covid pandemic the congregation at Nesting became “barely viable” after its most active member left Shetland.

“We had begun to explore a possible partnership with the Community Development Company of Nesting (CDCN) for shared use of the building with a child care provider,” he said.

“That does not appear to be viable, and we have not met for worship in Nesting in the last two years.

“We are therefore reluctantly, but realistically exploring selling the chapel.

“We welcome the CDCN’s consultation with the local community to enquire about possible sustainable community uses for the building.”

The development group will collect the suggestions, and then present them to the wider community to see if any local groups, societies or entrepreneurs may be interested in taking on the building to implement the ideas.

CDCN said ideas would ideally be supported by, run by and used by the community, be financially sustainable and avoid duplicating services already present in the area.

People can submit ideas by Monday 19 September. More information on how to offer suggestions can be found here.

It comes as the Church of Scotland continues to sell off two thirds of its estate in Shetland, partly due to reduced congregation sizes.

The last kirk to hit the market was the church in Tingwall, but late last month the Church of Scotland said it had received no expression of formal community interest in the building.

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