A Year in Gothenburg

This section illustrates, month by month, some of the highlights of the year.

These include religious festivals like Christmas and Easter, annual occasions like Harvest, Remembrance Sunday, and our Garden Party, family events like baptisms and weddings (which might come at any time of the year), and one-off special occasions.

The text is being written in 2015, but some of the photographs are from previous years.  Unlike News from St Andrew’s, our blog, which is in reverse date order and has a lot about what is going to happen, this is more like a diary, about what has happened.  But here are some key dates for 2015:

April 5: Easter Day
April 19: Church Annual Meeting
April 26: Confirmation
May 3: International Family Service
May 30: Garden Party
October 4: Harvest Festival
October 18: Ecumenical International Service at the German Church
November 8: Remembrance Sunday
November 22: St Andrew’s Day Lunch
December 16 and 20: Carol Services

And here are some notes from 2010 about the rest of the year:

In August, it’s back to school for the children, and, by the end of the month, we are welcoming university students for a new academic year.

September begins with our Harvest Festival, with fruit and vegetables to decorate the church and auction off at the end of the service. (NB. This will be in October in 2015)  The Church of England has now joined other European churches in keeping this month as Creationtide, when we celebrate the glories of God’s creation and pray for its protection and safekeeping.

One Sunday in October, St Andrew’s closes its doors to allow us to attend the International Service at the German Church for the expatriate reformed congregations of the city.  This is usually on the Sunday closest to United Nations Day.

Remembrance Sunday in November is a bit different in Gothenburg.  We start with Poppy Day tea in Dicksonska Palatset on the Saturday, thanks to the Royal British Legion – a typical English tea with lots of English paperbacks for sale, and an auction of more exotic items.  After the service of remembrance in church on Sunday, some of us go to the wreath-laying at Kviberg cenetery, with prayers in English at the Commonwealth war graves and in German at the German graves, followed by a reception hosted by the two nations alternately.

St Andrew’s Day, our festival of dedication, is on the last day of November, but we celebrate it on an appropriate Sunday, with St Andrew’s Day lunch after church.

December, of course, is the month of carol services, beginning at the lovely medieval church at Hakarp, near Jönköping, and including our own two services when St Andrew’s is packed, with standing room only.  We have a more peaceful and informal service of Carols round the Crib during Open Church on the Friday before Christmas, and, in English tradition, mince pies after the service on Christmas Day itself.