Wednesday 22 May 2024
 14.1°C   SE Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / End of an era as ‘much loved’ Dunrossness kirk becomes latest church to go up for sale

Photo: Church of Scotland

ONE of the most historic churches on the Shetland mainland is to be offered for sale following its final service at the end of this month.

Dunrossness Parish Church, which dates from the 18th century, is among the final kirks to be put up for sale as the Church of Scotland reduces its estate in Shetland.

Folk in the South Mainland will be “warmly welcomed” at the Church of Scotland’s Sandwick kirk once services in Dunrossness come to an end.

The B-listed Church of Scotland building in Dunrossness has an asking price of offers over £40,000.

The church dates back to 1790, and its gross internal area spans 319 square metres.

The Church of Scotland agreed in 2018 to close 20 of its 31 buildings as falling congregations made the retention of so many buildings unviable.

While some have been sold publicly, some kirks have been bought by community groups.

The Church of Scotland had been in discussion with local groups about a possible community use for Dunrossness, but despite delaying the sale for a year to explore the possibility of a purchase, this is said to be no longer an option.

Photo: Church of Scotland

Built in 1790, Dunrossness Parish Church is located within a graveyard, but this will continue to be maintained by Shetland Islands Council and the public, including relatives of anyone interred there, will continue to have access.

The final service at Dunrossness Parish Church will be held at 7pm on Sunday 27 August.

There are no plans to remove the pews or pulpit, but a new home is being sought for the lectern and organ.

Rev Frances Henderson, minister for Central and South Shetland, commented: “Although we have known for some time that this would happen, it is still very upsetting to see the day arrive.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“We know that Dunrossness Parish Church is an important place for South Mainlanders, and has hosted not just regular services, but weddings, baptisms, funerals and other events for generations of islanders.

“We know its closure and sale will be a grief to many in the local area and beyond, which is why we are inviting all who have a connection with or interest in Dunrossness Church to join us at 7pm on Sunday August 27 to give thanks to God for the faithfulness of the congregation over the years, and say a proper goodbye to this much loved building.

“I am truly sorry for the sadness people will feel at the end of an era for this historic church and hope that people will feel able to speak to me about those feelings if they would like to do that.

“We pray that Dunrossness Church will have a good future, but most importantly, the population of Dunrossness and its surroundings remains in our pastoral care, and all members and friends of the congregation will be warmly welcomed at Sandwick Church for our regular 10am Sunday services.”

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.