Sharing Faith And The Future – Diocesan Twinning Meeting

Bishop Sven-Bernhard Fast and the Diocesan Board of the Church of Sweden’s Diocese of Visby – which is twinned with the Diocese in Europe – visited Bishop Robert’s Office in Brussels to exchange new and information and strengthen the bonds between the two dioceses.

Bishop Robert gave a short presentation of the Diocese in Europe, mentioning Bishop David, the Brussels and London offices, the responsibilities of the Archdeacons and the general structure of the Diocese. Bishop Robert also touched briefly on the Diocesan strategy “Walking Together in Faith” and explained the five elements included in the strategy : Building up the body of Christ, Shared Partnership with other Churches, Justice and Safeguarding, Reconciliation at all levels and lastly the Resources to do all of the above. 

Bishop Robert chaired a lively question and answer session.  The topics covered were of interest to both Dioceses, for example the refugee crisis where our churches are in the front line in places like Casablanca, Athens, Cos and Lesbos and Bishop Sven-Bernhard mentioned that they too are active in Athens via the Greek Orthodox Church and the ACT Alliance, so there is a great deal of shared experience.

Another questioner asked in how many places the DIE have Churches, which led to a wide-ranging discussion of where our Churches are located, where the Diocese of Visby have Churches, changes in society which affect the Churches, the fact that there are now many mixed congregations which are helping our Churches to thrive, and we belong more and more visibly to a global world. 

Bishop Sven explained that Visby is the Diocese which is responsible for all Church of Sweden Churches abroad.  They have parishes all over the globe and have an office in Upsala to support these parishes.