There are 23 Icelandic ministers working in Norway, 13 of whom belong to the Hamar diocese, located in southeastern Norway, which includes 164 parishes, RÚV reports.
“Our experience with Icelandic ministers is good, and the language has never been a problem,” a consultant for the Hamar bishop told NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. There is a lack of ministers in Norway, whereas ministers in Iceland have had a hard time getting appointments since the financial crisis.
NRK interviewed Sigurður Grétar Sigurðsson, who is the latest newcomer to the Hamar diocese. In the interview, Sigurður admits that at first, he had a problem understanding members of the congregation, but says it was not as hard as he had first feared. “We learn Danish back home, and I listen to the radio a lot and to other people, and I learn a great deal from that.”
He states that in Norway, ministers get the days off that they deserve, they work their work week and the schedule is better organized than in Iceland. “Here, you know when your work day is over. In Iceland, many ministers had the feeling that they never did enough, and that they were always at work.”