Borgund Stave ChurchWies DijkstraWies Dijkstra

In June 2014 my husband and I visited Norway for the first time. We were in-vited by Margun Warem, former EB-WU Vice President, and her husband Arne. They took us for a wonderful trip along the Fjord coast of Norway, from Stavanger up to Trondheim, where we stayed with Synnove Angen and her husband Eigil. We were very impressed by the beauty of this country! On our way we visited the old Stave Church in Borgund.

Conversion of Norway to Christianity

The conversion of Norway to Christianity began in 1000 AD. The raids on Ireland, Britain and the Frankish kingdoms had brought the Vikings in touch with Christiani-ty. King Haakon I , who had grown up in England tried to introduce Christianity in the tenth century, but had met resistance from pagan leaders and soon abandoned the idea.

King Olaf II (later Saint Olaf) had more success in his efforts to convert the population, and he is credited with Christianising Norway.
The first Christian churches in Norway are called Stave Churches. They were built of wood without the use of nails.


In 1180 the Stave Church in Borgund was built. With the help of the local people, the great posts or ‘staves’ – were slotted into the ground frame and hauled upright to form the main structure. The consecration service was con-ducted by the bishop himself. He first went round the building three times, then knocked thrice on the closed door with his bishop’s crook before he entered and consecrated the building in the name of Christ, conqueror of all evil and Lord of the Church.

The nave was full, the men and boys standing to the south of the aisle, the women and girls to the north. The only benches were along the walls and these were reserved for the old and the crippled.

Wies Dijkstra