Tag Archives: Gustav Adolf Church Liverpool

A new minister, and throwing the tree out

The floor held. Still, or again, or whatever. I always watch in fascination (never join in, for reasons that will become apparent) in these throwing-the -tree-out times, with people dancing, and wondering if the floor is really up to it. Surely one year it will decide it’s had enough of mad Scandinavians all jumping together in early January? Then they will all end up in the basement.

As I’ve been telling Mary Hoffman over on Facebook, Swedes have a week longer for the Christmas decorations to go. The end, near January 13th, will often be celebrated with a party, dancing round the tree, before it’s stripped and thrown out. We have a song and dance for everything, really. And FC calls for the last time, with sweets for the children, and a clementine to be healthy.

Liverpool’s Scandinavian church had both their annual stomping round the tree today, as well as the  welcoming of our new part time minister, based in London. We don’t like this, but it’s not his fault. He sang to us at the end of the service, which was nice. I also gather from the introductory note about himself in the church newsletter, that he is interested in the art of Simone Martini. Unusual, as the only time I’ve come across Signor Martini is as a character in Mary Hoffman’s The Falconer’s Knot. I know he’s not fictional, but it’s an interesting coincidence.

Simone Martini


We went to the Scandinavian Church in Liverpool today for an Advent service. It was followed by a simple but very nice lunch organised as always by our wonderful matron Mette and her Stan, who is the best Norwegian speaking Englishman I know. Mette’s bread is wonderful, and let’s not get on to the subject of the waffles with jam and cream. We did not go home hungry.

We did not go home immediately, anyway, as it was time for Lucia practice for the children and a few intrepid older people. They do not include me. And I hope they won’t kill me for calling them older. I just mean they are not children.

Lucia practice at Gustav Adolf church, Liverpool

This is the “before” photo of how they looked today. In two weeks’ time we’ll hopefully have a real photo to show you, with everyone dressed up, and with a few more participants as well. I tend to like the practice best. They sing like angels even the first time, and everyone is relaxed, including me, and I’ve got the whole church to spread out in.

I’ll let you have a preview from last year’s Lucia, just to show what you can put together after something like three hours of practising, but with decades of tradition in your backbone.

And here is the link to last year’s blog post about the same event. The reason I’m going on about this at great length isn’t just to bore you. There is now politics involved as well.

The mother church (hah!) in Uppsala wants to close us down. To put it bluntly, they’d prefer to do their inspection trips to Thailand instead of Liverpool, and who can blame them? We have fought long and hard, and we thought that Liverpool City Council had the last word when they said that the church building is not Uppsala’s to sell, and that we can lease it from them. The word from last week’s meeting is that Uppsala not only still believe they are right, but they are bracketing us with the same motive as they have. To own and to sell for a vast sum of money. (In this economical climate? I don’t think so.) They finished the meeting with a quick look around the church for valuables, a bit like you check out aunty’s jewellery as she lies on her deathbed.

Along with regrouping for another long fight, we are gasping at the sheer Christian spirit of their behaviour. Or not, as the case may be.

Oh, and a week ago we celebrated our 125th anniversary. I don’t personally recall all those years, but it’s a well loved and important church.