Yesterday Crown Princess Mette-Marit visited the Cathedral of Hope outside Fredrikstad. The project gathers plastic rubbish from the ocean which will be used n the construction.
The structure modelled after the stave churches of Norway will be around 100 square meters, large enough to hold between 30 and 50 people.
Since it is not a permanent structure as one would imagine a typical cathedral to be, it is being built on a barge and will be located Ytre Hvaler National Park and will make journeys along the coast upon its completion.
Ytre Hvaler National Park is a national park located in Østfold, Norway. Established in 2009, it was the first national marine park in the country of Norway.
The idea behind the project is to create a travelling symbol that reminds us that the oceans are drowning in plastics and the need to be protected and cherished for the precious resources they are.
Plastics that end up in the ocean and eventually break down are one of the most serious threats to marine life.
Bishop of Borg Atle Sommerfeldt commented: “The vision of the project is to transform evil into good and show hope that we are working together.”
The Crown Princess agreed to be the high protector of the project (similar to what one considers a Patron) and was able to get a clear insight to the work taking place on the cathedral at Isegran in Fredrikstad.
Talking with some of the builders, Mette-Marit spoke to Alexander, a 21-year-old student attending the boatbuilding workshop and who is working on the cathedral. “The Cathedral of Hope becomes an exciting project to build. Different. I want to be a boat builder because I have always been so fond of working with wood and old traditions,” commented Alexander.
During her visit yesterday, The Crown Princess also met with kindergartners from a local school. The group each brought a piece of plastic with their name written on it. HRH wrote her name on a piece of plastic that will be part of the roof of the cathedral.
Project manager Solveig Egeland stated: “Many are looking for a concrete project where they can help to make the hope for a sustainable future alive. The Cathedral of Hope will mobilise nationally and internationally, and be a creative and important symbol in the struggle to take care of nature, the sea and the values that lie there.”
Photos: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix/Kongehuset.no