THE CHURCH IN TYNSET

Norway, Hedmark (cut away) with Tynset kommune in redTynset is set in the northern-most area of Hedmark, a county or fylke just north of Oslo. Here the church serves a population of about five thousand inhabitants in an area that, from north to south, totals some 75 kilometers (ca. 47 miles) in distance.

The church is served by a staff that includes three priests, deacons, organists, sextons and administrators. Within the prestegjeld (also known as a sokneråd or parish) are four communities, Tynset (the seat of local government and principal town) and the villages of Tylldalen, some 17 km south of Tynset, Brydalen, 20 km to the east and Kvikne, 50 km to the north-west. Each of these communities has its own church and Church Council. Members of each council come together to form the fellesråd, or Fellowship Council.

The Tynset prestegjeld belongs to the Nord-Østerdal prosti, the equivalent of a rural deanery in the Anglican church. The prost (dean) is the administrative leader of the church in Nord-Østerdal, and since Tynset is the administrative centre of the area, his post is situated here. The prosti belongs to Hedmark bispedome, one of several bishoprics in the country, and totals six prestegjeld, the remaining five being Alvdal to the south-west, Rendal to the south, Folldal to the west, and Tolga and Os to the east. Each has a number of churches in its catchment, along with its own administrative and clerical staff etc. To the north lies the Nidaros bishopric, in which the churches are under the leadership of a different bishop, who is seated at Trondheim.

Nord-Østerdal prosti is lucky in having particularly historic churches in its area. Tynset’s churches, which are visited regularly throughout the year, has some of the oldest. Tynset Church was built by the same architect of the more famous Røros Church in 1795 and is, to all intents and purposes, a copy. It is interesting to note that at Bardu in Troms, a copy of Tynset church was built by the Tynset-born architect Ole Olsen Lundberg between 1825 and 1829. At Tylldalen, the church was consecrated in 1736; at Kvikne, one finds one of Hedmark’s hidden gems, a richly decorated church that uses materials from a previous stave church. Kvikne church celebrated its 350th anniversary in 2003. Brydalen Church, the youngest and smallest of Tynset’s churches, dates from 1883. All these buildings can be visited in virtual tours at our Visit Our Churches page.

Church services are held each Sunday in most of the churches and, occasionally, we have services for first/second-language-English visitors and inhabitants.

Church services throughout Norway follow the same format, with the same musical liturgy and hymnbooks. Unless they are timetabled for the evening, all services begin at 11 a.m. and generally take the same form as most Anglican and Roman Catholic services, with the exception of communion, which, in Tynset prestegjeld, generally occurs once a month. Visitors to Norwegian churches, however, do notice that the rubric of the service is often different from their own experiences: salmes or hymns, which are often more numerous, are usually sung whilst sitting. For readings, however, the congregation stands. If the service is without communion, the order does not change; instead the section from the Eucharistic Prayer to the blessing is omitted.

Baptism, confirmation, weddings and funerals are still very much a part of religious life in the country areas of Norway. Despite a general trend towards secularism, the tradition of having such services in the church remains strong and, during the spring and summer months, about 50 fourteen to fifteen year-olds are confirmed as members of the church. Funerals are rarely secular occasions, with an average of around 50 occurring throughout the kommune each year. Baptisms are held throughout the year.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the church’s work in Tynset Deanery.

More information on Tynset kommune, its people and places can be found by clicking here >>