Sunday Swimming Row In Scotland Makes A Splash

Reuters

Protestors in Scotland are calling for devout Christian sabbatarians to get in the swim with modern life and allow access to a public pool on Sundays.

For some Christians, Sunday remains a holy day of prayer and rest in accordance with the Lord's commandment. Orthodox Jews also revere the laws around the Sabbath which starts on Friday evening at sunset. 

A row over the right to swim on a Sunday has broken out in Scotland's highly religious Western Isles after the Scottish Secular Society (SSS) backed a local charity calling for pool access on the Sabbath.

Tensions have been rising in the Isles' capital, Stornoway after a local community organisation, Families into Sport for Health (FiSH) challenged the local authority Comhairle nan Eilean Siar on the issue last year.

The chair of the SSS, Megan Crawford said: 'It is disheartening to watch a community come together for the betterment of their families, only to have their efforts thwarted by elected representatives abusing their powers.'

The SSS alleges that councillors have repeatedly changed its reasons for not opening on a Sunday, with the most recent being a lack of funding for the pool being open for an extra day of the week.

FiSH has now raised the necessary £11,400, helped by donations from the SSS and the National Secular Society for a 12 month, half day Sunday trial.

When approached with the funding, council leader Angus Campbell denied their request, saying that the pool being closed on Sundays represents 'the views of the majority of people' in the area.

FiSH is now preparing to present a cheque for £11,400 to the CnES this Friday in front of the Stornoway council buildings.

A FiSH spokesperson said: 'We feel it is necessary to hold a public event for this offering as throughout this campaign there has been public confusion. The community saw the crowd-funder as a solution to the stated financial problem as precedent had been set with the swim club. We would like the CnES to provide an official and public statement in light of funds now being available as reasons against opening on Sundays have been ever-changing and the process for achieving community engagement ambiguous.'

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