The Church is losing priests: Norway may be short of 200 priests in four years

PriestPriest.Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB
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The Norwegian Church is not attractive enough as a workplace, a new report states. Weak management and an indistinct “brand” are to blame, among others things.

Every year, Norway loses about 30 priests, and in 2024 there may be 200 vacant priest positions, according to newspaper Vårt Land.

That corresponds to the sixth priest in the country.

Three years ago, after the numbers showed that one in three priests was over the age of 60, the Church started a project that is being completed these days.

The goal of the project was to find out why recruitment for priests wasn’t effective, and what can be done about the issue.

Great challenge

“The challenge is great, and can potentially weaken the Church of Norway’s ability to be a nationwide national church.

“The districts are hardest hit when there is a lack of church employees,” Jan Christian Kielland, department director for Church subjects and ecumenism in the Church Council, noted.

Among the findings in the report, several causes have been emphasized.

The Church lacks a clear and contemporary “brand” as an employer, which enables the company to attract, engage, and retain employees.

In addition, the report points to somewhat inadequate management, and a lot of autonomy among the employees.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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