– We have turned to every stone to find solutions, but unfortunately we no longer have to go.
Bent Floer is the head of the parish council in North Cape and has long been struggling with an unfortunate economy. The churches are closed from February 1 and are closed for day visitors.
iFinnmark first mentioned this issue.
Now the Chamber Council is considering selling two churches.
– The Church is instructed to see and appreciate it. He thinks how it can be removed from our budget, says Floers.
Churches have no funeral and baptism
At the end of 2018, a study conducted by the Employers' Organization for Church Organizations (KA) showed that every tenth church in Norway is used less frequently than once a month. Typical unused churches are that they are in small municipalities.
At the same time, several state churches fought to preserve the old churches.
There are three separate churches on the North Shore – Honningsvåg, Skarsvåg and Repvåg, as well as a private church for rent in Gjesvær. The church also has its own church.
The churches in Skarsvåg and Repvåg are now considered as sales, but the lease agreement in Gjesvær is terminated.
Honningsvåg Church will still be able to rent for concerts and other events.
But baptism, funeral, marriage, and worship will only be possible in the parish in the future.
This creates a reaction and despair among several citizens, including Malin Irene Magnussen, as if soon to baptize their newborn baby. Then she may not have a church to go.
When I go baptizing my daughter, this is something I want to do in the church. It's about my Christian faith. The same is not the case in the ordinary house, says Magnussens.
– I know that this applies to many others, says Magnussens.
– We need to think about the wider use of church space
The organization The CA believes that Norway should become more open to the use of the Church space for a number of activities and thus make the church a center of community in several areas.
"Then you can save it as a place of worship and keep the church action when they have the opportunity, but it can also be rented for other uses that do not contradict the church," says KA, Oddbjørn Sørmoen.
The Norwegian Church is a Lutheran church, and you do not have such strict rules as to what you can do and not do.
In other countries, there are examples of sold churches being used as a nightclub or restaurant, but this thinking Sørmoen may become problematic.
– Then it really scrubs. The building receives one message and one more content.
– Good examples are where you say the building is a community-building community and it should still be. You can use it for meetings, concerts and cultural experiences.
He also claims that the North Coast Church not only tries to keep all of its churches open, but also has not heard that everyone should sell.
– I know a few cases when one has created a new church that has taken over the old functions. Then someone wanted to demolish the old one, sometimes it is discussed, or it can be sold, but it hasn't happened yet, says Sørmoen.
Desperation of the bishop
The bishop of Nord-Hålogaland ward Olav Øygard believes that the situation in the North Cape is tragic.
– This is a dramatic and very serious situation in the North Cape, which is a failure for the local community, he says.
– that people should not go to the worship, do not say goodbye to their loved ones … I don't think so until I see it, that is, as it is, he continues.