Ancient . . .

Sadly an organist in a neighbouring parish has just hurt her back, so I’ve had a couple of trips out over Senja to cover services for her. Today’s assignment was a funeral in Torsken which lies on the western coast of Senja. Unfortunately it has rained most of the day, so it wasn’t a very photogenic.

Torsken church is an old wooden building, probably from the early 1400’s although rebuilt in the 1700’s and with various other revisions along the way:

The floor and pews have been recently replaced, but the walls are original, looking from the outside like ship-lap planks, and on the inside like a log cabin! For a 360 degree view, visit this link:

The door ways are very low and the gallery at the back which has a (thankfully) now dis-used harmonium is so low that even sitting your head touches the ceiling. Both the galleries are accessed by very steep ladders:

The pulpit hood is also low, with only just enough space for me to stand. The pulpit is beautifully painted.

The sacristy which is in the traditional place behind the communion table screen is tiny, toilet free and with a very ancient door lock (not sure how it can also be a fire escape!).

The ‘wedding chairs’ (used by the bride and groom at a wedding) are beautifully embroidered.  Artwork in the church reflects a strong catholic link:

Much of the glass is also very old and ‘curvy’. Just in case you can’t see any boats out of the window, there is the traditional model hanging up inside:

The organ is quite recent, but I couldn’t find any makers mark. It’s nicely proportioned and the only major problem is that it’s been installed on an uneven floor so it feels like you’re going to slide off the bench! More details on the Organs page.

On the way home we took a small detour to Gryllefjord, another small fishing community, known locally as Gryllefornia! In the summer they have an arts festival and a ferry runs to Andenes on the Lofoten islands: but in the winter, the beating heart of the town looks a bit more ‘wild west’.

One response to “Ancient . . .

  1. Pingback: . . . and Modern | Arctic Organist

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