Norway baptisms highlight strong ecumenical bonds

Eleven Sudanese people were baptised in Norway on Sunday 25 September at a service which demonstrated the strength of ecumenical relationships in the country.

The service, at the Bragernes Kirke, in Drammen, took place in the Church of Norway’s church buildings but it was facilitated by Revd Canon Joanna Udal, Chaplain at St Edmund's Anglican Church, Oslo.

She explained that the Anglican community occasionally uses the Bragernes Kirke building for its services thanks to an excellent working relationship between the Church of Norway and the Anglican Church in Norway.

“The partnership has been a significant ecumenical breakthrough for our Anglican presence in Norway,” she said.

“Thanks to our close partnership with the Church of Norway, under the Porvoo agreement, we receive invaluable assistance from Norwegian parishes and the diocese.”

Revd Joanna also regularly takes services for the Drammen Ladies Guild at the Bragernes Kirke. And the church hosts joint services in English and Norwegian.

Bragernes Kirke is one of several locations that the Church of Norway offers to Anglican congregations in the country. Others include the Nidarosdom in Trondheim, and the Mariakirken in Bergen.

On the baptisms, Revd Joanna said, “We have growing connections with the Sudanese community in the region, many of whom have been resettled in Norway over recent years from refugee camps in Ethiopia, where the Anglican church’s ministry is strong.

“It is a joy that as families resettle now to Norway, they are bringing their children to baptism.” she continued.

Revd Joanna has a personal connection to the region having previously served in the Episcopal Church of Sudan as Assistant to the Sudanese Archbishop, and remains a Canon of the Cathedral in Juba, South Sudan.