Norwegian churches all over the country are struggling to fill vacant positions for pastors. Several are currently empty, leaving local communities with a shortage of pastors available to conduct church services, weddings, funerals or other church-related events.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that many pastors are now reaching retirement age and there’s no one to replace them. Too few young Norwegians opt to study theology and prepare for a career as pastor.
“We’ve had to advertise vacant positions several times, and we’re struggling to find applicants for positions in outlying areas,” Trond Glimsdal of the Hamar diocese told NRK. He believes the situation makes the church vulnerable, and that several of the church’s functions will lose priority.
The situation around Hamar is not unique, with similar challenges facing dioceses all over the country. Personnel chiefs from Norway’s 11 dioceses met last week, NRK reported, to discuss the pastor shortage.