The Miðgarðar parish committee in Grímsey recently signed a contract with carpentry workshop Loftkastalinn to build a new church to replace the one that burnt down earlier this year. Architect Hjörleifur Stefánsson has been hired as a construction manager and Arna Björg Bjarnadóttir, project manager of Glæðum Grímsey – a campaign to revitalise habitation in the island – has agreed to supervise the project. Everyone involved in the church building has experience with building restoration projects.
The new church will reference the old church but will be larger than the old one due to modern requirements. The design will also take into consideration that the church will be used for other events than church ceremonies. Parts of the church will be prepared on the mainland but the structure is set to be constructed in Grímsey next summer. A notice from the parish committee states that building the new church is a communal project and that the islanders are making every effort to raise funds for the projects. Some funds have already been donated and the people of Grímsey have gratitude for everyone who has already contributed to the project.
On January 1, Grímsey had a population of 57 but not all residents live on the island all year round. In recent years, efforts have been made to reverse steady emigration from the island but as of yet, they’ve proven unsuccessful. The island lies off the north coast of Iceland and is the northernmost inhabited part of the country, situated on the Arctic Circle.