Parish priest Anne Pete Tjendland didn’t think she would experience it.
– I’ve never been close to anything like that. Practically, we are insolvent, but the Church cannot be insolvent, so a decision on suspension of payments reveals that, Tjentland tells Salangen-Nyheter.
The reason is that the Joint Council is without free funds, and as of today, salaries and running costs for the Joint Council total NOK 120,000.
From next Saturday the Ibestad Parish Council will not be able to carry out funerals, dig graves, provide a church minister or hire a musician for funerals and church services.
Never experienced before
The Ibestad Church Council writes on Facebook Thursday evening that only the vicar will participate in church services.
The servants of the church, except the parish priest, are now under no obligation to work.
The parish priest will try to create some kind of service on Sunday.
– I am not employed by the Common Council, but I can work because I work in the diocese. The service will be lit with candles at the altar, but without music and other things the church staff do, Tjentland says.
– Pretty cool if you ask me. Now the Diocesan Council should at least deal with the matter. The municipality should also be involved. After all, Tjentland to Salangen news says that they are the ones who made the budget decision.
It is the municipality of Ibestad that has refused subsidies for the operation of the church.
Anne Skoglund, diocesan director in the Nord-Hålogaland diocese, had never heard of such a case before.
Apply for a loan
– This is an extreme situation that we have never experienced before or very rarely. Skoglund says he will hold talks with the municipality this afternoon about the situation.
Ibestad Kirkelige Fellesråd writes on Facebook:
“The church custodian is in negotiations with the municipal administration for the monthly salary (after 01.08.22), which is attached to the matter of changing part of the award linked to the business change at the decision of the municipal council. The business is under investigation.”
This is not accepted.
Requested for loan approval. The Nord-Hålogaland Diocesan Council, which must approve this, has approved IKF to apply to Sparebanken Nord-Norge (SNN). As of 22/09/22 SNN has not responded to our application.
Many in Ibestat are strongly opposed to the fact that the church can no longer perform important and central functions.
“- speechless. The vicar may both be the lead singer and turn on the heat in the church, but tell me – are you going to dig in too??? writes one resident on Facebook.
As another wrote:
“- It was drama! Can the municipality say that the dead should bury the dead? That the family should go back to the old practice of digging and throwing away the grave? You can hold a church service alone, but without music there will not be much celebration and praise. Now one sees how important the priest and ￼ church staff are. Let’s open it!”
The mayor of Ibestad municipality, Dag Sigurd Brustind (H) believes that the Ibestad Church Council (IKF) did not provide a balanced budget, so it ended up in such a situation.
– More money has been spent than allocated to them. We need to clean it up so that important services are taken care of, says Prestint.
– IKF has asked for an additional 350,000 for the year and we hope to get a solution soon, he says.
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