This was the only church I managed to visit on our cruise to Iceland, Sandavagur Church on the Island of Vágar, The Faroe Islands. We were on a coach trip exploring the Island of Vágar and one of the stops on the journey home was to visit this wonderful church.
The church is the first building you really notice when you see Sandavagur in the distance, I think… it might be the red roof standing above the surrounding buildings. Again we had to negotiate some slippery paths up to the church, but all went well and no one slipped.
Sandavagur Church stands on a hillock and overlooks the small town. Built in 1917, it has served as a place of worship for the locals ever since, it was the fifth in a series of churches built in the last 300 years. In addition to its distinctive bright red roof, the church contains a 13th-century rune stone bearing an inscription that a Norwegian man, Torkil Onandarson, was the first settler here, it is believed to be dated back to the 13th century. Normally the churches are very plain inside, but this church has painted pews and wall paintings.
Hanging from the roof, is a beautiful sailing ship and this seems to be a local tradition. I found a paragraph for maybe the reason why……..Quite often the church ships were gratitude gifts from sailors who survived dangerous trips on sea. In some villages with strong sailor traditions the ships could be a way of protecting and praying for the ships and their crew. To bring them back safely…. and as a curiosity none of the church ships have a rescuer boat…. Of course because the ship is the hope itself and the captain God himself.
After an interesting visit, we made our way back to the coach and the drive back to Torshavn, but this time going over some very snowy mountains, post to follow.