Nine of over 60 churches in the Oslo area are proposed to be closed down. Eight of the churches are located in the eastern districts of the capital.
The churches proposed to be closed are Bakkehaugen Church on the Tåsen, Sofienberg, Lilleborg, Iladalen, Klemetsrud, Stovner, Ellingsrud, Romsås and West Aker church on Ulven. In addition, it is proposed that the lease agreement with Lovisenberg Church be terminated.
This is reflected in the proposal for a church plan that was published Tuesday evening. The church plan is a project in collaboration between the Church Council of Oslo and the city of Oslo.
“People will be disappointed, sure,” said Church guardian Robert Wright in Oslo to Our Country Tuesday.
The steering group behind the church plan, now invites all the churches in Oslo to come up with suggestions for the process.
“We look forward to the church councils, other volunteers and employees to review our proposals and make their own suggestions and ideas. During the spring, the steering committee will have consultations with the churches before preparing a consultation proposal.
“The deadline for submitting a consultation response will be in October, so everyone will have good time to comment,” says Elise Sandnes, Senior Vice President, and Church guardian Robert Wright.
The list of churches which will no longer be used will be completed before the new year. The steering committee will make a recommendation to the diocese council and the joint council which will then make decisions in December.
In recent years, the church council in Oslo has suffered deficits. This year it will be between 5 and 8 million kroner.
“We must use our combined resources more effectively as possible to realize the Church’s vision of ‘More Heaven on Earth’ and that it is living, near and accessible with Jesus Christ being the focus,” Sandnes and Wright said in a press release.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today