Debate, Fornebo | A sacred space for the community in Fornebo

Debate, Fornebo |  A sacred space for the community in Fornebo

Opinions This is a discussion post. The publication expresses the opinions of the writer.

In the controversy surrounding the mixed-use building in Fornebu, the history behind the building and the need for a sacred space for people to travel to was lost.

I lived in Fornebu from 2011 to 2017 and was concerned about the plans for the plot of land in Fornebu S. It was originally set aside as a church plot.

Cooperation in the local environment was the basic condition in the agreement concluded between the municipality of Baerum and the church since 2007 regarding the construction of the “Church Building and Cultural Building” in the Fornebu Centre. With the decision regarding “Multi-purpose building with church room” in Partial Municipal Plan 3, the church part was toned down.

Now there are strong voices that want the church room out. The picture of the “church” in Vornebolandet is painted as a smaller and increasingly smaller group of particularly interested people, who have enough space in the church in Snaroya.

Room solutions in the multi-purpose building can and should be discussed. You have to find a good balance between the church room of the multi-purpose building and the buildings of the Snarøya Church. But there is a need for a sacred space with Christian roots among the Fornebu crowd, where most people live.

“Church” is not limited to active churchgoers, as Budstikka's debate posts might give the impression.

Although diversity among the population of Vornebolandt is increasing, about half of the population within the boundaries of the Diocese of Vornebolandt remain members of the Church of Norway. In addition, there are those who belong to other Christian denominations.

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We know from research that a large proportion of members of the Church of Norway are “cultural Christians.” They have their reasons for committing to church even if they don't go often. They form a “people's church” with activists. Folkekirke is established in Article 16 of the Constitution.

This shows whether Christianity was still part of public life in Fornebo. This is what the debate about the church rooms in the multi-use building is all about.

Recently, Christine Gunlexrud-Raum from Asker gave a lecture at a local church academy on “Christianity in Culture – Nostalgia or Faith in the Future?” She recently resigned as the supreme leader-elect of the Norwegian Church.

Her point is that Christianity is needed as a cultural impulse by the general public. Shared frames of reference build community. Images of the Bible and Christian traditions are central to this general cultural foundation.

The picture of the “church” in Vornebolandet is painted as a smaller and increasingly smaller group of particularly interested people, who have enough space in the church in Snaroya.

The continuation and renewal of this Christian cultural heritage must – literally – have a place on the stage in the diverse Fornebo community.

A sacred room with Christian art in the multi-purpose building. A space for silence, wonder and worship among the crowd. A church space for everyone who seeks Christian community support in life in Fornebu, regardless of their beliefs and doubts. In this way, the church will contribute to the overall local environment.

No one wants the church to dominate. But Christianity must have a place among the common people, along with other views of life. Next to the church room, the multi-purpose building should also have a room open to all aspects of life.

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It is not too much of a stretch to expect that politicians in Baerum will stick to their decision on the “multi-purpose building with church room”. According to the new Religious Sects Law, the municipality is still responsible for church buildings. A future city with a population of 35,000 could not be without its own church space.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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