First, the Methodist Church put a huge white cross on the roof of the Bjølsen. Then they lit the lights. Then hell broke down.
A rough cross to heaven has caused the neighbors of Bjølsen to fire. The first complaint with the Planning and Building Agency was already on the day the cross was assembled. May 24, 2017.
«Today there was a big cross on the roof of the Methodist Church in Bjølsen in Bergensgata 12 B (…) There is nothing to change this phase at PBE and I wonder why the measure may be illegal".
Complaints came in the summer.
«Very annoying for me", Write one.
Another asks briefly "Is this law"?
In August there is a declaration from the church, by lawyer Tormod S. Christoffersen. It says, among other things, that the original cross in the building from the '50s was a mess and that a new one was set up.
«Given that since the church was new in the 1950s, there was a cross on the roof, it was not deemed necessary to reassign it".
It will be quiet again in the autumn. Quiet for a new storm.
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And it became light
In the middle of the Advent moments, when people just got up to hang the star in the window, this happens:
«In the afternoon of December 12, 2017, the cross was suddenly illuminated without warning or trial in which we were involved as neighbors".
And now it eliminates almost all complaints to the municipality from the neighborhood northeast of the city.
«A disgusting white light in our living room".
«Lysforsøpling. Wherever I look, it's just this cross that I see".
«As if someone has turned a light box upside down in all our skylights".
«Pushy and uncomfortable".
«Great with freedom of religion, not good with bright neon corps".
That the cross is difficult, the neighbors agree, but how high is it actually? It has not been possible to give us an accurate answer, nor is it mentioned to the Agency for Planning and Building. Too big, the neighbors think at least.
«The cross appears to be dozens of times larger than for example the sprout in the church of Sagene".
«A larger cross, estimated at about 3-4 meters".
«At least 5-6 meters high"Believes a third, it is a pleasure to discover that" the gigantic cross is annoying to us as neighbors, because it is enormous, and in a noisy way in the urban horizons, and detracts from the city ".
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About night skies
The view, yes. Some are worried about house prices.
«It will soon be able to reduce the value of apartments in the neighborhood".
Several are also concerned with the symbolic power of the cross.
«Disgusting, yes, almost nauseating".
«It feels a bit invasive to be reminded of the faith of other people every time you look at the night and night sky at Holmenkollen".
Neighbor in the attic
Martin Kermit is one of the many neighbors of the Methodist Church who complained about the cross.
"I would like to talk about that," he says as the Daily newspaper calls. He lives in a loft apartment a few notches under the church.
"We are annoying, both from the kitchen and from the living room, the cross comes straight into the membrane.
He explains that it looks like you get a headlight in the apartment.
– And that the headlamp has the shape of a cross, does not justify this anymore? Ask Kermit, emphasizing that he does not think it is the Christian symbol that is the problem, but the light pollution.
– In addition, there is something in Las Vegas that resembles such a luminous cross.
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After the church has received complaints about the light, it is mounted lighter and darker on the brightness. It writes the church through his lawyer in a new statement to the municipality in May. There they also show that the old cross is illuminated earlier, with headlights on the roof.
Pastor Steinar Hjerpseth in the Methodist Church agrees with the neighbors that the cross is great.
"In the beginning, the light was strong and I understand it might be intrusive," says Hjerpseth.
"But after we received complaints, we tried to curb it.
He says that they do not want to worry or bother about the neighborhood, but rather positively present and explain that they have their own farm management and that the lawyer of the farm is working.
"It is true that the brightness is not as strong as before," said neighbor Martin Kermit.
– But it still has not disappeared.
Or, as an elderly gentleman writes to the municipality in his mild complaint:
«Let me emphasize that we have nothing against the Grand Cross or the Methodist Church as such. For us it is important that the light goes out".
NB: The last thing in the matter is that there is a message from the church that they are compelling the church to correct the relationship, because the new cross was actually enforceable. The lawyer has asked for postponement.
The case was first published on Dagsavisen.no