It is not every day a diocese gets a new bishop, but that was what has just happened in Norway. His Majesty King Harald of Norway was present in the grand Fredrikstad Cathedral, southeast in Norway, on the morning of April 24th 2022, when Kari Mangrud Alvsvåg was consecrated as the eighth bishop of Borg diocese.
King Harald was received on the church steps and accompanied into the cathedral by the president of the episcopal college, Bishop Olav Fykse Tveit. Then followed the church procession with, among others, the new bishop of Borg. In addition, present in the church were the government representative, Minister Kjersti Toppe, Chief of Police Ida Melbo Øystese, Mayor Siri Martinsen and State Administrator Valgerd Svarstad Haugland.
Bishops and priests from Norway and abroad attended the intercession. Kari Mangrud Alvsvåg made the bishop’s vow to the president, who placed the bishop’s cross around her neck as a visible sign that she has now been ordained a bishop in the Church of Norway.
After the ceremonial handshake, the new bishop knelt and was prayed for with the laying on of hands by other bishops and participants. The new Borg bishop then took over the leadership of the service, which continued with confession, reading the gospel, sermon, prayer and communion. Kari Mangrud Alvsvåg spoke about the war in Ukraine, solidarity and God in the midst of evil in her first sermon as the new bishop.
Borg diocese in the city of Fredrikstad includes the historical regions of Østfold and Akershus, with the exception of Asker and Bærum. The diocese was established in 1969 when it was separated from the Oslo diocese. The late bishop Per Lønning was the first bishop in Borg.
Three of Borg’s former bishops, Andreas Aarflot, Helga Haugland Byfuglien and Atle Sommerfeldt, were present in the packed cathedral during the consecration service. After the service, King Harald was attended a lunch at Quality Hotel in Fredrikstad before returning to the capital of Oslo.