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.”