How to become a member of the Church of Sweden
Would you like to become a member of the Church of Sweden? Here’s how to do it.
Baptism is the way in
Baptism is the way into the Christian church. Baptism is a sacrament, which means that it is a sacred act instituted by Jesus Christ. Through baptism, a person is united with Jesus Christ and becomes part of his worldwide church.
Baptism is also the basis of membership in the Church of Sweden. Being baptised according to the order of service of the Church of Sweden gives you membership of the Church of Sweden. This applies to both adults and children.
If you want be baptised (and therefore become a member), please contact the parish where you live or where you want to be baptised. The same applies if you want your child to be baptised. Parents or guardians need to agree that their child should be baptised for the baptism to go ahead.
Adults receive teaching in the Christian faith of the Church of Sweden before they are baptised. When young children are baptised, the teaching comes later when they are a little older, for example when preparing for confirmation. All baptised children are invited to the activities and events for children in the parish and to become a confirmation candidate.
Since baptism forms the basis of membership in the Church of Sweden, we envisage that those who wish to become a member have either been baptised or wish to be baptised. Those who have not yet been baptised can become members “pending baptism”. This applies to both adults and children.
If you have already been baptised
The Church of Sweden recognises all baptisms that have taken place using pure water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Those baptised in another Christian church are therefore not required to be baptised again in the Church of Sweden in order to become a member. It is then sufficient for you to contact your parish and tell them that you want you or your child to become a member. If you have a baptism certificate or other certificate that shows you have been baptised, it is a good idea to take it with you.
Some churches are so closely affiliated with the Church of Sweden that we are in “full communion”. This applies to Evangelical-Lutheran churches that are members of the Lutheran World Federation. It also applies to some other churches that the Church of Sweden has special ecumenical agreements with. If you have been baptised in one of these churches, you simply need to notify the Church of Sweden that you wish to become a member. If you want to stay a member of such a church, you are still welcome to take part in church rites (such as confirmations, weddings and funerals) as if you were a member of our church. However, you cannot vote in the church election or stand for election if you are not a member of the Church of Sweden.
If you have been baptised in a Christian church other than those mentioned above but wish to convert and become a member of the Church of Sweden, we would like to tell you about the faith and traditions of the Church of Sweden before you become a member. You will then receive teaching equivalent to that received by those who are to be baptised. It will naturally be adapted to the church you were baptised in and the baptismal catechism you have previously received. If you want to remain a member of your original church but do not know where its nearest parish is, you can get help from a parish in the Church of Sweden or contact the Christian Council of Sweden to find out.
Contact your parish if you want to become a member or fill in the form above and we will contact you. You can also talk to a member of the clergy.
As a member you pay a membership fee, known as the church fee. How much you pay in church fee depends on two factors: your income and the parish you belong to. The church fee is administered by the Swedish Tax Agency.
People not registered in the population register, who are not Swedish citizens or who are not resident in Sweden are welcome to become members, but there are special rules regarding which parish they belong to. This applies, for example, to asylum seekers. The same applies to certain parishes known as “non-territorial” parishes. If you belong to any of these groups and want to become a member, get in touch with a parish in the Church of Sweden and they will help you contact the relevant parties.
We warmly welcome you as a member!