Reverend Guðrún Karls Helgudóttir Elected Bishop of Iceland Skip to content
Guðrún Karls Helgudóttir bishop of iceland
Photo: provided by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland. Guðrún Karls Helgudóttir.

Reverend Guðrún Karls Helgudóttir Elected Bishop of Iceland

The Reverend Guðrún Karls Helgudóttir was elected as the next bishop of Iceland today, following an election which concluded this afternoon.

Election results

Reverend Guðrún Karls Helgudóttir received the most votes with 1060, or 52.19%, followed by Reverend Guðmundur Karl Brynjarsson, who received 954 votes, or 46.97%.

The church electorate consists of 2286 registered voters, including priests, deacons, and lay members. The National Church reports a voter turnout of 88.85%.

The next bishop of Iceland

Reverend Guðrún was born in Reykjavik on April 27, 1969, to Karl Magnús Kristjánsson and Helga Einarsdóttir.

After graduating from Fjölbrautarskólinn in Breiðholt in 1992, she earned a B.A. in theology from the University of Iceland in 1998, followed by a cand. theol. in 2000.

Some of her notable work during her ecclesiastical career has included children’s work at Árbæjarkirkja, work as a youth representative within the church, and vocational training in the Gothenburg Diocese in Sweden from 2001 to 2003.

Ordained in 2011, she has served in different parishes, notably Grafarvogur, since 2008.

Since her ordination she has also continued her studies at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and has also served in the council for the National Church of Iceland twice.

Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir

Reverend Guðrún will be replacing Bishop Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir, the current bishop of Iceland, on September 1, 2024. Bishop Agnes’ tenure was not without some complication, as the circumstances around her last reappointment raised some legal questions within the church.

National Church of Iceland

Iceland continues to have a nationally-established church, known officially as The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland. To support the established church, Iceland also retains a church tax, though Icelanders may choose where their tax goes.

While the National Church continues to be the dominant religious denomination in Iceland, membership has declined in recent years. In 1998, the Church of Iceland had 244,00 adherents. Today, it has declined to around 220,00. Given Iceland’s demographic explosion, this represents a decline from fully 90% of the population to just over 60% in that time.


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