News from the Diocese of Southwark
Nordic churches celebrate the Olympics
31 Jul 2012
London's five Nordic Lutheran churches came together at Southwark Cathedral on Sunday 29 July for a Choral Evensong to celebrate the Olympics.
Around 200 UK based members of the Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish churches, were joined by the President of Iceland, HE Mr Olafur Ragnar Grimsson - senior embassy officials and Southwark & Bermondsey MP, Simon Hughes. The service was hosted by the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun and the Dean, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn. Held at the suggestion of the Nordic churches based in Southwark Diocese, it was conducted in English and the different Nordic languages, with choral support from a 30-strong Nordic Choir and the Cathedral Men's Choir.
The Dean explained "Their coming together at Southwark Cathedral, which we were delighted to support, reflects the close links between Southwark and the Nordic churches. These include the long-established presence of Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish churches in south-east London, where they are an integral part of the local Anglican Deanery, and the growing link between Southwark and Bergen (Norway) Cathedrals".
The sermon was given by The Rt Revd Sven-Bernhard Fast, the Bishop of Visby, Sweden and Bishop to the Church of Sweden Abroad, covering parishes on five continents. He challenged the view in Ecclesiasticus 38, which had been read earlier in Danish, that 'only the one who has little business can become wise' which seems to exclude anyone who works for a living! After all, he said 'God's wisdom was given to mankind through a manual labourer, a carpenter, the incarnate Christ' - adding that the writers of the Gospels and Letters included fishermen and a tent-maker.
The prayers in English, Finnish and Norwegian included thanksgiving for the five Nordic churches in the UK where "we are each able to hear God's word and worship him in our own language".
After the final blessing by the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, the service was followed by a reception in the Retro-Choir and an opportunity to view the Cathedral's new Jubilee window, created by Icelandic designer Leifur Breidfjord.
Photographs of the Service can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/cy8y5uo