Iceland’s new bishop says that the Church of Iceland is in such financial trouble that they may have to close some parishes.
The Church of Iceland receives support from the Icelandic government from the general treasury, paid into by tax money from people registered in the church. People born in Iceland whose mothers are in the church are automatically registered in the church; it takes the voluntary filling out of paperwork to leave.
Vísir now reports that Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir, the newly elected bishop of Iceland, says that the church has run into such financial trouble that many local parishes cannot afford to conduct church business, and many may have to shutter their doors.
Agnes believes that to remedy this, part of the solution would be to try and restore public trust in the Church of Iceland. A sex scandal involving the outgoing bishop and his predecessor has shaken public trust in the church, with hundreds if not thousands de-registering from the church. Agnes says that bringing the public attention to work the church does might help in this matter.
It should also be pointed out that the salary of the Bishop of Iceland is about one million ISK per month. In addition, figures from 2009 show that the church received 2,642,500,000 ISK from the treasury. So perhaps the bishop taking a salary cut, or better management of the funds they receive from the state, might also help local parishes struggling financially.