The search to replace Solveig Fiske as bishop in the Diocese of Hamar has ended.
Fiske turns 70 this fall, and it’s time to pass the baton. There is a lot of excitement about who will take over.
Now the Church Council in Hamar has taken the final decision.
Ole Christian Banden is the new bishop.
– This is very high, and a great seriousness in becoming a bishop. But he says he looks forward to the important service with joy and anticipation.
Bandon will be installed as the new bishop on Friday morning at Hamar Cathedral. This meeting is open to all.
Working for an inclusive church
Church Council President Kunleeksrut Raum tells NRK that he cannot reveal what the council insisted on in the election.
– but he says the appointment of Panton as the new bishop is a clear signal.
Ole Kristian Bonden is the parish priest in Sør-Østerdal and his priestly life has been associated with Elverum.
Among others, she has been a board member of Open Folk Church and the Incest and Sexual Abuse Support Center.
Bandon says that as bishop he wants to work for a church that is generous and inclusive, that is in people’s lives.
– I want to continue the Diocese of Hamar into a new era as a folk church diocese.
Since the 1950s, the Diocese of Hamar has been known to be very liberal. It was here that Norway’s first female priest was ordained.
Rosemary Cohn, bishop of Hamar from 1993 to 2006, was Norway’s first female bishop. He also waged an important battle for the place of gays in the church.
Solveig Fiske is also described as a bishop with clear positions, while being generous and inclusive.
– What would it be like to take it from her?
– It can be easy and hard. She was a great role model for me from whom I learned a lot.
A long process
There is great tension over who will succeed Solveig Fiske as bishop.
In March, it was opened to anyone who wanted to make proposals for candidates. A month later, there were 222 proposals for a total of 92 candidates.
Then the demanding work began. The shortlist of 92 candidates was reduced to 5 candidates. All five were presented on September 13 in Hamartoman.
Again the list had to be reduced – from five to three.
The three were Ole Christian Bandon, Hege Elisabeth Fagermon and Dor Evan Faulkner.
– This is a tough choice. When you have three good and solid candidates, it can be difficult, says Church Council President Christine Kunleeksrud Raum.
Bandon was at the top of the Hamer Diocese Council’s list before the Church Council made its decision.
There were twelve church members who voted for him.
Farmer says he is looking forward to traveling and meeting people in local communities in the diocese.
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