A Year in Gothenburg – April

April 6 Easter Monday

As in recent years, the University Chaplains had a Taizé Mass in Haga church at 20:00.

Another week with a lot of printing to do: the 20-page Annual Report booklet and 12-page order of service for the Confirmation.

April 11 The last Confirmation class

produced some unexpected questions, like “When did church collections start?” Varied evidence in the New Testament for temple taxes, having all things in common, and the collection for famine relief in Jerusalem. One could go back to 2 Kings and the collecting box for temple repairs which led to the discovery of the Book of Deuteronomy, or whatever it was. The candidates suggested some hymns for the service and agreed to do various jobs – leading intercessions, sharing the peace, taking the collection and bringing up bread and wine.



April 16 Vetenskapsfestivalen 

– the Science Festival in which the Chaplains have taken part for the last few years. This time, a discussion at Betlehem church with Lars asking questions to his cousin Olof who broke his neck 10 years ago and Martin, a doctor who has been involved in major catastrophes.  Both Christians. The questions may have been ordinary enough in science versus faith debates, but the responses came not from textbooks but from real life. 28 people there.

April 18 Walk on the island Koön,

just before Marstrand, run by the Pilgrim Centre. Three new waymarks paths; we us d bit of all of them. The one marked with black triangles was quite steep, and I was glad not to be alone. Stunning views.

April 19 Annual Meeting

A good attendance in church but only 18 stayed for the Meeting.  The “business” consisted mainly of taking the annual report as read, and could have been over in 15 minutes.  I decided to make a statement, under Any Other Business, about the process for finds a new Chaplain, and invited questions.

April 20 CEC officers at Domkyrkan

Karin Burstrand, Dean of the Cathedral and a Vice-President of CEC (conference of European churches) invited me to a reception at Domkyrkan to meet her fellow-officers. The GKS committee members were also invited, as well as various people from Domkyrkan.

April 21 University Chaplains’ breakfast with studievägledare 

The University Chaplains invited studievägledare (course tutors?) to breakfast, following a successful initiative before Christmas. 8 of them came, and we had a good discussion about death – both in the university and in personal experience.  There will be a second session on Thursday for another group.

April 24 Confirmation rehearsal

The Confirmation candidates came for their rehearsal. Ann G was very helpful when it came to working out what they would do at the offertory – two exchanging the peace with those on the end of every row, two bringing up the bread and wine, and two taking the collection.  The other one will lead the prayers.

April 25 ANZAC day

This was the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli. The Australian ambassador reckoned there were a couple of hundred at Kviberg, where I led the prayers and uniformed guards from a Swedish regiment not only played the Last Post and Reveille but drummed slowly throughout the laying of wreaths at the war memorial.

April 26 Confirmation

The big day for our seven candidates. Each family of sisters had made a cake for the occasion, and all were smartly dressed.  In the evening Heather hosted a pot luck supper (much better than the title suggests) for Bishop David and the Church Committee.


April 30 Valborgsafton

The May Day holiday began, and I watched the Chalmers Cortege on Avenyn – only the second time I have done this, and I understood more of the jokes this time.