Stornoway’s Sunday swimmers need your help (and a little bit of cash)

“Whatever you or any legal department has to say, our belief and values with regard to Sundays matter.”


Main pool, Isle of Lewis Sports Centre Stornoway; there is also a kiddies pool complete with Nessie. Open Mon – Sat 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. Closed Sundays

Comhairle nan Eilean Sia (Western Isles Council) consider it sinful to swim in the public baths on Sunday. That is a matter for them. They wish to impose this view on all Stornoway sports facility users. That is a matter for all of us. It is discrimination against non-Christians, and indeed against the many Christians who think that taking a swim on the Sabbath is ok.

Such discrimination is illegal, and the Council knows it but doesn’t care. As one Councillor told a constituent, “Whatever you or any legal department has to say, our belief and values with regard to Sundays matter.”

Nonetheless, the official reasons are financial. And the beautifully named FiSH, Families into Sports and Health, want to call their bluff. FiSH is an organisation that has sprung up among the users of the sports facility, and has set out to raise the money needed for a twelve month trial by crowdfunding. We are not talking about a large sum (£11,400), and they are already a third of the way there.

You can contribute, comment, and learn more about the background, here. Your contribution will not be collected unless the full amount can be raised. If, faced with a successful campaign, the Council has second thoughts and the money is not needed, donors will be consulted about passing on the money to a local children’s charity.


  • if you think freedom of conscience matters
  • if you think it wrong for believers in one particular version of one particular faith to impose their rules on everyone else
  • if you think that public bodies such as Councils ought to respect the law

please help.

Information and donations at . You can join the FiSH Facebook group here.

About Paul Braterman

Science writer, former chemistry professor; committee member British Centre for Science Education; board member and science adviser Scottish Secular Society; former member editorial board, Origins of Life, and associate, NASA Astrobiology Insitute; first popsci book, From Stars to Stalagmites 2012

Posted on November 13, 2016, in Politics, Religion and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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