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 Grip Stave Church

Grip Stave Church is a historic stave church in the fishing village of Grip. It is located on the small island of Grip about 14 kilometres northwest of the city of Kristiansund in the Norwegian Sea.

With only one nave that is 12 metres long, 6.5 metres wide, and 6 metres high, it is one of Norway´s smallest churches. The priest no longer lived in the parish after the year 1635, but regularly visited the island. Grip has been an annex to Kristiansund since 1967.

Located in a now deserted fishing village, the church is only used in the summer season, when both summer residents and tourists attend services every third Sunday, led by a priest from Kristiansund.

The church was built in about 1470 at the island´s highest point, about 8 metres above sea level. The church is of the Møre type, being structurally similar to the larger Kvernes and Rødven stave churches. Because of the barren nature of the island, there is no cemetery on the church grounds, and bodies had to be buried elsewhere, in the cemetery of Bremsnes Church, over 10 kilometres away over open sea.

It underwent major modifications in 1621 when the walls were replaced, and a flèche was added. Today´s windows were installed in the 1870s, and at the same time both a weaponhouse and a sacristy were added. During restoration work in 1933 a new foundation was added, and the exterior walls were panelled. All this rebuilding is why the exterior does not resemble the more typical Norwegian stave churches.

A proposal of relocating the church in 1972 did not materialize. In 2007, the roof and spire were restored and some of the panelling replaced.

A new pipe organ from the Netherlands with 270 wooden pipes was donated in 2006, which due to humid weather conditions will only be installed in the church during the summer season. The rest of the year, the organ is in use in Kirkelandet Church.

The church also has a small altar cup from 1320, a 16th-century double-sided painting on canvas, murals from the 1621 modifications, and two votive ships.

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