August 16, 2022

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opinion, discussion |  Cemeteries - rooms for contemplation and dignity

opinion, discussion | Cemeteries – rooms for contemplation and dignity

the meaning This is the topic of discussion. The publication expresses the positions of the author.

Cemeteries are a room we all feel. We deeply regret once again that it was not possible to find a good solution to cut down and take care of all the graves before the start of this year’s growing season. But we are grateful that the municipality has found a solution to prevent three cemeteries from being left untouched this summer.

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Skrautvål Cemetery – Terrible sight

In Valdres newspaper June 28, 2022, it was stated in the leadership position that “one ought to know better”, that it was “unclear” whether we had “reached an agreement ensuring proper maintenance this season” and that “the most common scheme is that we know that The external departments of the municipality are responsible for this part.”

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Cemeteries must take the lead

It surprises us that Valdres newspaper contributes to the speculation that we see it being shared on social media, among other things, without first contacting us with the officials.

We know very well that running cemeteries is important. Our previous suppliers terminated most agreements regarding cemetery care in January 2022. Since the Joint Church Board did not have the capacity to find satisfactory solutions this summer, we immediately began a dialogue with the municipality about possible solutions. We can only regret that it was not possible to find a solution within the framework that we had before the start of the growing season. But it wasn’t because we didn’t know better.

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It should not be so obvious that it was the municipality that now hired people and purchased additional bench cutters to take care of the lots and care for the cemeteries at Ulness, Strand and Skrutval. Avisa Valdres was present when we reported the situation at the town hall meeting last week, they had access to the information we published about it on our website, Facebook page and in the parish journal Kyrkjeliv, not least they could always call in to investigate the facts and conduct investigative journalism in our area also. We so welcome.

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Now we will sit down and discuss future solutions

The Joint Church Council takes its responsibility very seriously. Our responsibility is, among other things, to find solutions that also ensure the safety of both visitors and those who work in the cemetery. Therefore, we chose not to challenge volunteers to line up with their own equipment that could potentially damage cemetery, tombstones and people, which is what we fear most.

Parties are responsible for looking after and cutting around their graves. Fellesrådet is responsible for cutting out protected graves and around graves where people have entered into an agreement and paid for care. And because many want the Joint Council to also cut down the other graves, we hope to increase the understanding that we do not have the capacity to do so.

We are not aware that the “most common arrangement” is for the outer sections of the municipality to cut down and care for the cemeteries as reported in the Valdres newspaper. In Valdres, we know that this is the case in Vestry Slider, but not in other municipalities. What is the best long-term solution for the six cemeteries in Nord-Ordal, we will consider together with the municipality of Nord-Ordal.

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Work continues to find more sustainable solutions for 2023, and we encourage you to provide good input to both joint councils and parish councils, while maintaining a respectful and dignified tone in both traditional and social media. It is about the feelings of people and people towards those who bury their loved ones and those who work in cemeteries. The leader concludes that “cemeteries should take precedence over many other things.” This is an opinion we share.

We very much appreciate that Valdres reports what is important to the people of Valdres. Next time you want to write about us, we hope that you will reach out to us to clarify the facts beforehand.