Uppsala domkyrka. Foto: Jim Elfström
The church buildings, new and old, bear witness to the long historical presence of the Christian faith in our country. Today, the Church of Sweden is an Evangelical Lutheran church. Up to 7 million people living in our country are members of the Church of Sweden.
A sacred space
A Church is both a building and a movement – a sacred space, a special place, a group of people, a mission, a call and a calling.
The 3500 church buildings of the Church of Sweden all have a history to tell – a history of how the seeds of faith have been planted, tended to and nurtured in this parish throughout the ages. With a Christian history of this country spanning over one thousand years there are lots of stories to be told, some of which are mirrored in the things you see around you. And yet, most of these stories remain invisible to us, embodied as they are in the lives of the people who have come to this place, this sacred space, to rejoice and worship, welcome their newborn, pray for young and old, support those entering into marriage, say farewell to their loved ones and lay down their burdens of grief and remorse at the foot of the cross.
So if the building seems fairly empty and quiet at the moment it still resounds of life – life to last an eternity.
Although part of the Reformation movement the Church of Sweden has remained much the same throughout the ages; with bishops, priests, deacons and a liturgy only changed in parts. Within the framework of its Evangelical Lutheran identity it values both its protestant and catholic roots and often describes itself as a bridgechurch.
Each of the thirteen dioceses are led by a bishop closely working together with a democratically elected diocesan board. The Archbishop of Uppsala represents the Church of Sweden on a national an international level and speaks for the Bishops’ Meeting.
The General Synod, consists of 251 members meeting twice annually to decide on matters concerning the regulation of church life. It elects a Church Board which in turn is supported by a national office in Uppsala.
It is in worship, education and training, diaconal ministry and mission that the Church of Sweden finds its focus. During the course of a year some half a million services gather around twenty one million worshippers. Many of the services include Holy Communion. Participation in the distribution of bread and wine near the end of a mass is open in the Church of Sweden to all baptised persons, including children.
Do feel invited!
One Christ – One World – One Church
The Church of Sweden is part of the global fellowship of churches, with close relationships to other churches around the world.
It is active in the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the Conference of European Churches and the Christian Council of Sweden. All dioceses enjoy close relationships with partner-dioceses all over the world.
Through special agreements with the United Methodist Church in Sweden, the Lutheran Churches in Scandinavia and the Baltic states, and Anglican Churches on the British Isles and Ireland, The Evangelical Church of Germany and the Independent Church of the Philippines the Church of Sweden is involved in a closely weaved net of Churches working together.
The Church of Sweden strives for a world free from hunger, poverty and oppression. Together with other churches and aid organisations, we have a presence throughout the world – with the aim of healing the world.
The Church of Sweden’s international mission and diaconia is distinguished by its breadth. We are part of a major international network and a worldwide church, guaranteeing quality and presence. As one of the 127 churches and organisations in the ACT International network, we play an active role in disaster relief. Along with our various partners, we work on a long-term basis with: Economic justice, Peace, democracy and human right, HIV and AIDS, Disaster relief, Climate and the environment, The Church worldwide, Rural development.
It participates in emergency relief work and pursues the work of shaping and influencing public opinion. In solidarity with vulnerable people throughout the world, the Church of Sweden aims to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, to strive to achieve unity within the church and to act as a symbol of the reign of God
The Church of Sweden Abroad
The Church of Sweden Abroad work among Swedes in 45 locations all over the world. It provides a Swedish-speaking fellowship – a place to worship in Swedish – a home away from home.