Bishop Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir To Step Down in 18 Months

Bishop of Iceland Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir.

In her New Year Sermon in the Reykjavík Cathedral, Bishop of Iceland Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir announced that she will step down from her role in 18 months.

In her sermon, Agnes noted that she would be publishing her pastoral letter, a step towards completing her duties as Bishop. A pastoral letter is a book that each bishop releases during their tenure that expresses the bishop’s vision of the church and the community. In her sermon, Agnes stated: “In the next eighteen months, I will close this chapter of my life related to my service as Bishop. When I look back over my journey, I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished. I knew that I would have my work cut out for me in the reforms I wanted to make and I’ve often had rough seas during my tenure.”

In her pastoral letter, Agnes stresses that the church should have an impact on human rights, equality, the environment, and other issues that concern people’s lives, stating in her sermon that: “The Church’s voice in the human rights cases of asylum seekers and refugees has become louder, above all demanding mercy and grace.”

In the next eighteen months, Agnes will complete her visitations to all churches and congregations in the country, ending in Bolungarvík on Sailor’s Day 2024, where Agnes served as minister from 1994-2012. “I want to complete my visitations and my service as Bishop by singing with my former choir in Hólskirkja in Bolungarvík, on the day that will mark 12 years since I left that fine congregation.”

Prime Minister’s Crime Thriller Number 1 Book in Iceland

reykjavík glæpasaga

According to bookseller Penninn Eymnundsson, Reykjavík: A Crime Thriller, was the best-selling book in Iceland in 2022. The book was co-authored by PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Ragnar Jónasson.

The book concerns the disappearance of a young girl, and the eventual unearthing of her disappearance some 30 years later by a young journalist. Set against the historical backdrop of the Reagan-Gorbachev meetings and Reykjavík’s 200th birthday, the book has been well received by both readers and critics.

The book was published this October, in anticipation of Iceland’s annual “Flood of Christmas Books,” and sold well right from the start.

Other successful books this year include Játning (Confession), by Ólaf Jóhann Ólafsson and Eden, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir. Perennial best-sellers include the collected Icelandic sagas, in English translation, and Independent People, by Icelandic Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness, also in English translation.

Popular children’s books this year included works by Bjarni Fritzson, David Walliams, and Gunnar Helgason.

Read more about reading habits and literature in Iceland here.