Ett maskrosfält och en kyrka i bakgrunden.
Foto: Kristina Strand Larsson /Ikon

English (engelska)

The Church of Sweden is a national church, open to everyone living in Sweden regardless of nationality. It is a place for church services, meetings and dialogue.

The Church of Sweden is an Evangelical Lutheran church with 5.8 million members. There are 3400 churches in Sweden, and 13 dioceses.  

Priests elect bishop

Each diocese is led by a bishop, whose tasks include ordaining the candidates to the priesthood and diaconate, and holding visitations regularly in every parish. The bishop is elected by the priests of the diocese together with an equal number of lay delegates. He/she is assisted by the chapter (domkapitlet) and by a diocesan board (stiftsstyrelse).  

The chapter, consisting of clergy and laity, oversees the parishes and clergy, ensuring that they keep to the doctrine and practice of the Church of Sweden; since there are no suffragan bishops or archdeacons, the dean of the cathedral is the bishop's deputy in the diocese.  

In every parish (1 329 in January 2020), there is a parish council (kyrkoråd), that together with the rector (kyrkoherde) is responsible for the liturgy, and for the educational, social and evangelistic work.

Every fourth year elections are held for all the decision-making bodies within the church, at parish, diocese and national level. Every member of the Church of Sweden over the age of 16 is entitled to vote. To be a candidate for office one has to be a member, baptised and at least 18.  


There are employed persons in every parish: a priest, a musician and often also a deacon. In the smaller, often rural, settings these officers are responsible for services and pastoral care in several parishes. Others can be employed according to the needs of the parish, such as church workers, teachers, virgers, sextons, office personnel, children and youth leaders, cleaners etc.

On the national level the church is led by the Archbishop of Uppsala, who represents the Church of Sweden in international and ecumenical matters and speaks for the Bishop's Conference, of all bishops. But the decision-making body for the Church of Sweden is the General Synod (kyrkomötet); it consists of 251 members, meeting twice annually and decides all matters concerning the regulation of church life (kyrkoordning). The General Synod elects the Central Board.

Close relationships all over the world

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. As one of the churches and organizations in the ACT International network, we play an active role in disaster relief.  

All dioceses enjoy close relationships with partner-dioceses all over the world. The Church of Sweden also provides Swedish-speaking-fellowships in 45 locations all over the world.  

Ärkebiskop Antje Jackelén skakar hand med påven Franciskus.
Foto: Vatikanen

Pope Francis visited Lund when Catholics and Lutherans commemorated the Reformation

Pope Francis visited Lund on 31 October 2016. This historic visit took place because Catholics and Lutherans together are commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. Pope Francis visit was the first papal visit to Sweden since John Paul II was here in 1989.

Read more about Pope Francis visit to Lund 

The Church of Sweden’s focus on “Reformation Year 2017”

In 2017 it will be 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of All Saints’ Church (more commonly referred to as Castle Church) in Wittenberg. This became the start of the Reformation – one of the most dramatic revolutionary events in history. The “Reformation Year 2017” will be commemorated by the Church of Sweden with several anniversary-related activities during the year.

The Church of Sweden abroad

The Church of Sweden abroad has congregations around the world. The mission for the congregations is the same as for a congregation in Sweden: celebrate services, hold baptisms and weddings and arrange activities for people of all ages.

The Church of Sweden Research Unit

The Church of Sweden Research Unit conducts strategic research in close collaboration with universities and other higher education institutes in Sweden and abroad. The task is to support the Church of Sweden in its theological and strategic reflections on its identity and on its national and international surroundings.

Pojke står på en soptipp.

Act Church of Sweden

International work is an integrated part of The Church of Sweden. Read more about what we do, collaboration with us and our quality management.