An attempt was made this week to stop local Christian churches getting funds from Shetland Charitable Trust to spend on “religious propaganda”.
Councillor-trustee Jonathan Wills objected to a 10 per cent portion of a £54,075 grant to the Shetland Churches Council Trust being used for educational purposes. He said it was indoctrination, not education and called for that part of the grant to be cut.
Dr Wills told trustees at Thursday’s meeting that he would have argued the same whether it involved Muslims, Hindus or any other religion. His concern was that the trust was subsidising Christians when Shetland was now a multi-faith society. “This isn’t a proper use of charitable trust money,” he said.
The rest of the annual award is used for the upkeep of the many churches scattered around the isles, which Dr Wills felt was a valid activity to be supporting because the buildings were part of Shetland’s heritage.
He drew support from councillor-trustee Cecil Smith but none of his other colleagues voted to make the cut. “God be praised,” he said as the vote was lost 14-2.