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Community / Delight as community takes on Lunna Kirk

Celebrating a successful community buy-out are (left to right) Christine Laurenson, Toni Locke, Karen Gay, Linda Murray, Edwin Williamson and Emma Coote of the Lunna Kirk Preservation Group. Photo by Caitlin

KEYS FOR Shetland’s oldest working church have finally been handed over to the community six years after the Church of Scotland first announced they would close Lunna Kirk.

The historic kirk on the Lunna peninsula, also known as St Margaret’s and dating back to the 11th century, has close connections with the Shetland Bus wartime operations.

With legal formalities now concluded ownership of the kirk has been passed to the Lunna Kirk Preservation Group.

The Church of Scotland confirmed back in August last year that they had agreed to sell Lunna Kirk to the group which had been set up to keep the building in public ownership.

Committee member Emma Coote said the local community had come together with a shared objective to keep the kirk open with the aim of preserving the building for future generations and to promote its significant history.

Lunna Kirk.
Photo: Shetland News

Visitors can learn about its rich history and the building can continue to be used for religious ceremonies and worship.

“The Lunna Kirk Preservation Group are extremely grateful for the support of the community and friends from further afield, as well as the Viking Energy Community Fund which, in April 2023, provided us with a significant award to help secure the future of this historic building,” she said.

“Enabling the community to take ownership of the kirk would not have been possible without everyone’s support, so we would like to say a heartfelt thank you from all of us.”

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Back in 2018, Church of Scotland announced they would close and sell off 20 of its 31 kirk buildings in the isles as part of plans to merge it 13 Shetland parishes into one.

Lunna Kirk is now available for bookings by emailing bookings.lunnakirk@gmail.com or via the group’s Facebook page.

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