Jeremy was there to meet us at the airport and we drove to Lerwick, almost always in sight of the sea and the beautiful coastline - you are never more than 3 miles from the sea in Shetland. This was a week when I could never forget the beauty of creation.
We spent the afternoon in Lerwick and visited the museum where we learned something of the heritage of the islands and the fascinating geology of the area.
|Photograph taken outside the museum shows fishing boat in foreground, ferry in background and floatel for oil workers on the left.|
|North Roe Methodist Church|
|Cuppa and cakes in North Roe|
|Barns next to the original croft house|
Alma talked to us about life on the croft. The crofters cannot support themselves and their families with the work they do on the croft and so they will do other work as well. We saw a calf that had been born during the night and Alma was hoping that the other 3 heifers would calve before the lambing began in another 10 days.
|The newborn calf|
|Alma and her dog|
|St Magnus Church|
On Good Friday I joined Jeremy in leading an assembly in the school - the holidays are fixed in Shetland so the children were in on Good Friday. After this we drove to the ferry terminal on the north of Mainland Shetland and crossed to Yell.
|Rev Jeremy Dare on the ferry|
|The people we met at Haroldswick|
In the centre of the ceiling is a wheel boss which was made by Alan, then a pupil in the school, now a Methodist living and worshipping in the West of Mainland Shetland. We met the people here and shared in a short act of worship before having lunch together. Jeremy then took us to the most northern beach and we caught a glimpse of Muckle Flugga lighthouse, the most northerly in the UK.
At Gloup we walked to the memorial to 58 Shetland fishermen who lost their lives in a storm at sea in 1881. The men had been forced to go out in dangerous conditions by the Laird. They depended on fishing to supplement their income from the crofts after much of their land had been taken from them in the clearances. At the memorial is the figure of a woman, holding a child in her arms and looking out to sea and waiting. It was very poignant to see this statue on Good Friday when other women had waited at the foot of the cross.
|She looks out to sea and waits|
Good Friday worship was in East Yell Methodist Church. The church stands alone on the hillside but was built here as it is between two communities and so equal travelling distance from both.
|With the people at East Yell|
|Dr Val Turner at Old Scatness|
|View from St Ninians Isle|
Val also took us to St Ninian's Isle and Sumburgh Head and the whole day was enhanced by the beautiful, clear sunny weather.
|View up the coast from Sumburgh Head on a beautiful day|
After lunch at Whiteness we went on to an afternoon service in the chapel at Culswick and finally to cafe worship in the evening in Walls.
|Easter morning coffee at Whiteness|
|View through the door of Cuswick MC|
|Cafe worship at Walls|
|The tomb of John Nicolson who brought Methodism to West Shetland|
|A passing ferry|