Former Bible Society Head Installed as Top Lutheran Bishop of Norway

A former General Secretary of the Norwegian Bible Society has been installed as the new Bishop of Oslo for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway.

In a speech at the installation ceremony, held in Oslo town hall on Sunday, Apr. 3, Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon spoke highly of the qualifications that Ole Christian Kvarme brought with him from the Bible Society, praising the efforts the Society had made to communicate the Gospel to new groups in Norwegian society.

According to the United Bible Societies (UBS), Haakon also quoted from a speech Kvarme gave at the UBS World Assembly in Mississauga, Canada, in 1996, in which he spoke about the message of the Bible permeating and transforming cultural life in western societies and creating a new biblical spirituality and understanding of mission in the churches.

Kvarme, 56, served as General Secretary of the Norwegian Bible Society from 1986 until the end of 1996. Under his leadership the Society "played a significant role in renewing use of the Bible in churches and schools and increased basic familiarity with it among the population as a whole."

At the time of his new appointment he was the Bishop of Borg.

At a press conference following the announcement, Kvarme said he would be aiming to build a "Jesus-focused Church" which would be relevant and available to all.

His predecessor, Gunnar Stålsett, retired as Bishop of Oslo at the end of February and was also a former General Secretary of the Norwegian Bible Society.