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One in ten churches are hardly used – the smallest ones are used the least

Church.Photo: Sara Johannessen / SCANPIX

A recent survey shows that every tenth church in Norway is used less often than once a month. Typical for the unused churches is that they are in small municipalities.


This shows a recent survey conducted by KA, employers organization for ecclesiastical businesses, which will be presented on Tuesday. Between 150 and 175 of the 1,633 churches owned by the Norwegian Church are used less often than once a month, Vårt Land writes.

Three out of four churches used this rarely, lie in municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants. In Northern Norway, where there are several small municipalities, nine out of ten little churches are located in small municipalities. It is also in the north churches are used the least.

Robert Wright, the head of Church Heritage in Oslo, says it costs an average of around one million kroner to run a church building, and that is before electricity and other costs are included. KA has not calculated how much is lost by the empty churches.

In the survey, Church  officers and employees were asked what they thought about the future of the Church, and  many responded that they believed many churches would be taken out of use. However, it is not as simple as taking a church out of use due to visiting numbers, as churches represent more than a physical space. Several buildings are under preservation and conservation orders.  In addition, many of them have a burial sites around them, which has  local importance.

© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today