New Grímsey Church Hosts First Service After Fire Skip to content

New Grímsey Church Hosts First Service After Fire

By Erik Pomrenke

Grímsey church
Photo: Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir / Grímsey church.

The first service was celebrated in the new Grímsey church this Sunday, in a major milestone for the reconstruction.

The historic church, built out of driftwood in 1867 and relocated in 1932, burned to the ground last year in a fire. Although no one was injured, the destruction of the church was a significant loss for the small community.

Read more: Fire Destroys Grímsey Church

The new church has been designed to reference the historical structure, but also to accommodate the modern needs of the community, including use as an event space for the Grímsey islanders.

In an interview with RÚV, Reverend Oddur Bjarni Þorkelsson, parish priest of Grímsey said: “It’s a huge moment. I am not often speechless, but that’s exactly how it was. This is the first time I’ve seen the building after its construction began. It’s so similar to the old church but completely different too. And to see the power of the community and the joy of everyone who came to help, this is a great moment.”

The reconstruction of the church has cost an estimated ISK 120 million, with the original structure being insured for ISK 30 million. Another ISK 20 million has been funded by the state, but much of the remaining amount has had to be collected by the community themselves.

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