lager fonts smaller fonts print page

Annual Meeting

Sunday 29 April, 12.15-13.30


We gather to look back and look ahead, to choose our representatives - and to say thank you.
With snacks to sustain us.
Below you'll find the 2017/18 annual report.


People will come from east and west, and from north and south,
and take their places at the table in the kingdom of God.
- Jesus -

Chaplain

A week or so ago, at a wonderful fundraising concert here for a new heating system, I had to say a few introductory remarks before the music began, remarks that would suggest why I thought it was worth being able to warm the place.

I mentioned Christmas, Easter and Remembrance, weddings and funerals and concerts – occasions when the church is used and appreciated by the wider community.

And I mentioned Sundays – and you. Sort of. People from east and west and north and south, who find here (I said) a place to bring the ups and downs of their lives, somewhere to say thank you, a place where faith and hope and love can flourish.

I trust I didn't overstate the case. Looking at this report, I don't think I did.

This report represents something of the activity and effort and goodwill that goes in to making a little church like ours a place where we can learn to live well with God and with each other.

And reading it, I find myself feeling deeply grateful – as I do when I stand at the front of church on a Sunday morning and look out and see you there. Grateful to God (of course) but also to you, even if your name doesn't appear anywhere in these pages.

Grateful that you choose to worship here, every week or now and again, when a warm bed and roadworks and a chilly church and what passes for normality in Sweden all make that unlikely.

Of course there were disappointments and losses this past year: good people moved away; good things ended (Messy Church, after three years); Ormonde and Inga died; old age and illness took their toll.

But then, new people found their way here (despite our feeble attempts at publicity), babies were born and baptised; bees were given a home in the churchyard and blessed; people were married, and people found their voice, and people prayed; and people who were not always on top of their game found a place where they could be themselves - and people who were well and happy found the same.

Here on a Sunday morning we sometimes pray That in the pleasures and pains of life, we may know the love of Christ and be thankful. I believe that this church plays a modest part in making that more likely - even when it is a trifle chilly.

And so much of that is down to you.

Thank you.

Nick Howe

Electoral Roll

We now have 157 people on the Roll. Last year it was 152. Ormonde Goldie and Inga Rumert died and one or two people have moved away for good and their names have been removed.

New to the Roll are: David Anderson, Jessica Elevant, Olof Engdahl, Ansu Mathew, Paul Mathew and Adeyemi Oyetade. Welcome to you!

Being on the Roll doesn't make you more of a member of the church (we don't really have members in a formal sense). But your name must be on it for you to vote at the annual meeting or to be a member of the chaplaincy council.

If you have worshipped here over the past six months, and are over sixteen and baptised, you can add your name to the Roll any time after the annual meeting is done.

And, come next year, we remove everyone's name from the Roll and start again from scratch.

Zoe Mills Rammer

Godly Play

Godly Play is offered to children during the 11.00 Eucharist on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays of the month. During the past year Grant Kemp, Daisy Shumba and Simbi Osho have been our storytellers...

The past year of Godly Play has been an absolute delight. The teaching has been done by Grant Kemp, Daisy Shumba, and Simbi Osho with help from Claire Wigg and Zoe Mills Rammer.

We met 2 or 3 times per month (generally on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Sundays) for about 45 minutes when we share a story, some wondering questions, and a chance to explore the both through art and discussion.

The group ranged from about 3 children up to around 12 and ages between 4 and 11. This year we experienced a large renewal of children in Godly Play with some of the older children often choosing to stay in church with their parents and some of the younger children wondering more deeply about the stories we share.

We have tried to follow the stories being told to the grown-ups downstairs or to share stories that have a similar theme to encourage parents and children to engage each other with questions and thoughts that they each have encountered that day.

Moving into the next year we plan to take advantage of the new curious minds to take the stories deeper and to connect them to the larger story of the church year.

Grant Kemp

Children's Choir

On the 3rd Sunday, children aged between 3 and 11 have singing with Emma, who teaches them how to sing well and how to sing together - and makes it all fun....

This year the Children's Choir has continued to build on the work done during the previous year, with many members remaining in the group as well as new members joining. This continuity has enabled the group to start tackling more advanced repertoire as the children become more confident and musically experienced.

For Christmas 2017 we were able to perform a number of new pieces, including 'A maiden most gentle' (with some verses as solos), 'I saw three ships' (again, with some verses as solos), and once again also performed the 'Sans Day Carol' as well as 'Away in a Manger'. The Children's Choir was even able to offer two of its fine young voices to sing the first verse of 'Once in Royal David's City' this year (Hannah Grossmith at the Christingle Service and Liv Mills Rammer at the Nine Lessons and Carols service). It is such a special treat to hear young voices singing in church and I was very proud of all the children for their hard work and beautiful singing.

After Christmas we turned our attention to spring music and whilst absences made it impossible for the Choir to offer anything during the Easter service this year we are looking forward to singing Rutter's 'For the beauty of the earth' and a version of 'Gloria' from Taize worship, all in two part harmony, in May. 

It is such a genuine pleasure to watch these young voices and musicians grow in confidence and ability under our noses and I warmly thank all the children and parents for their continued efforts and support of the group. 

I also want especially to thank my husband James Grossmith, and Miranda Colchester for their continued expertise and engagement.

Emma Grossmith

Luganda Congregation

During the past year we have been experimenting with hosting a Luganda-speaking Anglican congregation once a month on a Sunday afternoon.

My Luganda is very thin, so the congregation needs to bring over Ugandan-born Church of England priests who can lead their worship for them. We are in the process of seeking what's called Permission to Officiate, to formalise this arrangement. And then we shall turn our attention to putting our relationship with our guest congregation on a proper footing.

In the meantime, through trial and error, we are sorting out a way of working together with the hope that they will flourish here, and that we will flourish with them.

Nick Howe

New to St Peter and St Sigfrid's

When I moved to Stockholm during the dreary months of winter this year, I was in search of a church community which values liturgy, scripture and inclusivity. Having been brought up in an anglican tradition in Australia and Malaysia, I was drawn to the St Peter and St Sigfried community which seeks to honour the ancient tradition of Anglican ritual, while taking in an ever evolving Christian theology.  


As a newcomer with minimal local language proficiency in this foreign land, I’m glad to have found a Christian community where worship is done in a language I fully understand. It is a place where I can seek real spiritual sustenance, through worship and the opportunity to form close relationship with people of faith.

For a traveller far away from home (I have been away from Melbourne, Australia for 5 years now: holding academic positions in Santa Barbara in sunny California; Lund in wet Skåne and now here in Stockholm), I feel welcomed and invited here, just as I am.   

Michelle Chong

Plan Bee – Djurgården Loves Pollinators

Plan Bee began with an idea for a beehive in the church garden – then got much bigger, as we took the plight of pollinators on board...


The hive is here, courtesy of our generous neighbours. On 15 October the bees were blessed. And we're well on the way to turning the big vision into reality.


On our doorstep we've got the woods and meadows and waterfront of the Royal National City Park. The first such park in the world. What if we were to make the whole thing pollinator friendly? And then
encourage the development of a comprehensive
bee and pollinator strategy for Stockholm city?

The steering group of Djurgården Loves Pollinators, driven by the enthusiasm of Sharon Cairns and the expertise of Göran Wiklund, has persuaded many key stakeholders to support the vision.

And the next step sees us turning the roundabout between the church and the water into an urban wildflower meadow on International Biodiversity Day, 22 May, in the company of diplomats and city greenspace managers. To show what can be done.

And before long there will be honey! And maybe even wildflowers in the churchyard...

Nick Howe

Safeguarding

As most people know by now, the Church of England has made it a priority to improve the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people within the church environment...

The Diocese in Europe, to which we belong, has increased the budget in this area and has an office dedicated to supporting us with all our safeguarding matters. It is to them the Chaplain or I would turn if we had any concerns or queries.

My role is to make sure that everyone working with children has gone through proper vetting procedures. Currently we have Godly Play twice a month and a Children’s Choir once a month. These are all safe environments for the children to be in and we will continue to ensure that every child is happy and safe in these activities.

We have a creche room in the Hall where parents can be with their babies or toddlers in a child friendly environment. If parents remain with their children we can operate this without having to vet anybody.

We also keep an eye on any other vulnerable person who might attend church. It is the duty of the Church Council and Nick as Chaplain to make sure that everyone is safe in our church environment.

The entire church is required to take safeguarding seriously. Safeguarding appears on the agenda at each Council Meeting. And each Council Member, along with those who work here with children, has been through two stages of Safeguarding Training: an online course, and a one-day session that took place on 26 September 2017 with an accredited trainer. Thanks go to everyone who took part.

Finally, Catherine Lawrence is working on an Activity Risk Assessment for all our areas of work and that has been a great help and goes hand in hand with safeguarding and identifying where any vulnerability may lie.

Zoe Mills Rammer

Servers

"Lord, may our service be worship and our worship acceptable to you."

The serving team has again done its best to help the worship go as smoothly as possible. Apart from Stefan and Will we have been helped by Anne, Peter and Noel this year. We also were very glad at the addition of Anil to the team. I'm happy to say that three of the younger members of the congregation, Jason, Michael and Marcus, also served at the all age services.

I hope we will be able to have a meeting in the near future, the aim of which will be to recruit more servers. Anyone who thinks they would like to serve should contact Will.

Will Mallender

 

Flowers

For many many years Beryl has brought her skill and dedication to the flowers for the sanctuary, and our other seasonal and festival arrangements are her handiwork...

Fresh flowers soften the rather hard church interior of stone and wood and bring in a breath of nature.

There are however, periods when the softening trimmings are superfluous and there is a pause when we look forward to important celebrations, such as Easter and Christmas.  The bareness helps us to concentrate on the forthcoming message and the joy when the events take place. This is important and I try to emphasize the message and the joy by decorating the whole church rather than just having decorations by the altar.

As you all know flowers are expensive in Sweden so I hope that the decorations are seen and not just taken for granted as something that that is part and parcel of weekly worship.

Beryl Flygelholm

Publicity

The church council has asked Quen to develop a systematic approach to our publicity, in a way that involves all of us...

As we learn to live well with God and with each other, it is key that we review and strengthen our communications. The church’s message is well publicised within the active congregation and in a recent survey 77% of respondents said that they get their information about the church and coming activities from the Chaplain’s weekly newsletter.

But what of those people not on the mailing list? And how do people come to know about the church in the first place? And how can we encourage use of the church outside the Sunday service?

These are questions we are exploring through the council’s subcommittee on Publicity. In the coming months we will be providing new ways to help the congregation spread the word about the church within their own networks, reflecting that 31% of congregation members first heard about the church through word of mouth, and we will be increasing our online profile through a more streamlined website and active facebook page, reflecting that 33% of people now attending church found it through an online search.

We may ask for your help to build publicity over the coming months, especially to build interest in events and to promote the church for weddings and we welcome feedback and ideas to help us succeed in communicating better- within the church and to the wider Stockholm community.

Quen Geuter

Fabric

Don and Sarah, as our Churchwardens, have oversight of the building and its fixtures and fittings. And there's always something that needs attention...

Church Heating - An application for the heating solution approved by the church council was submitted to the Stockholm planning authority; unfortunately, the authority rejected our plan since the air heat exchange unit would detract from the appearance of the church, which is a listed historical building. The plan included placing a façade in front of the heat exchange unit, but the planning authority did not accept this proposal either. The council is now looking at another location for the air heat exchange unit or to look at another heating solution such as a ground heat exchange. 

Church Tower – Internal replastering has completed Phase One of two and no further action will take place until several years down the road. In the meantime, the scaffolding will be left in place so that it can be reused in a few years for Phase Two. The delay allows time for the temporary mortar to absorb all of the accumulated and damaging salt. There has been further discussion regarding keeping the scaffolding in place permanently since it provides additional space for storage.

Basement Humidifier - this broke down and an attempt to repair the unit failed,resulting in the need for a replacement dehumidifier, which is now in place.

Some remaining items that will need to be addressed:

- One of the roof air vents in the front of the church is stuck open - we will need to look at either fixing it or replacing it. Some type of lift device will be needed due to the height.

- The council has been investigating a new sound system and a loop for hearing aids, which may be eligible for government subsidy.

- The electronic entry system for the outer double doors is not working consistently and will likely need to be replaced in the near future.

- An inspection of the building carried out by Nick and the Wardens indicates that there are some areas where masonry needs some minor fixing on the outside and a ground level air vent needs to be replaced.

A big thank you to all those who have contributed their time and talents over the last year at Big Shed events, or on an ongoing basis, to maintain the building and tackle the little issues that crop up with regular wear and tear.

As always, if you notice any particular issues with the building, please contact a Warden.

Don Baldwin

Sarah Kemp

New to St Peter and St Sigfrid's

Having lived in Stockholm for over twenty years I find it extraordinary that I had never stepped inside the church of St Peter and St Sigrid, not even to look around. God works in a mysterious way.

It took turbulence in my life to motivate my steps that first Sunday morning. I made a pact with myself that regardless of the end goal I would enjoy the walk along Strandvägen, with its views and sounds that never disappoint.

As I turned into the churchyard Nick happened to be standing at the door and greeted me with a warm welcoming smile and handshake. First hurdle over. Inside seemed familiar – a smaller version of my childhood village church.

There was stillness before the service that gave way to a kind energy in the music that matched the reverence and clarity of the liturgy and sermon: it restored my peace and made me want to sing.

 

The friendly acceptance continued with the coffee time upstairs. What could have been difficult socially felt natural. The website had told me there would be a seven-minute interview beginning at 12.23 and it began, impressively, exactly on time. Meeting several old friends was the icing on the cake.

 

I had set my feet towards the English church with inner turmoil and no expectations. I departed with renewed energy, sent out in the power of His spirit for a new week to live and work to His praise and glory. In C. S. Lewis’s words, I was ‘surprised by joy’.

Ruth Tatlow

Hospitality

Coffee after the service is easy to take for granted, thanks to the wonderful efficiency of Rachel and her team – and those who stand in when she is away. But it takes a lot of selfless and dedicated work to keep us caffeinated...

Well, it has been another year and I would like to thank those people who contribute coffee and bake cookies for the afternoon church fika. A special thanks to my daughter Rebecca, for all her help she gives mommy during the service. Also Erica and Daisy and the other lovely ladies who pitch in when I need it.

Please keep in mind that all your help with the extra coffee or package of cookies while you are shopping for your groceries, is greatly appreciated.

A special thanks to Nick for his wonderful soup kitchens and patience with us all.

Thanks from your Coffee Fairy for your continued support. Blessings to all.

Rachel Baldwin

Music

What a marvel it is that we have musicians of the calibre of Murdo and Christine to help lead us in worship...

Our choir remains steadfast and enthusiastic and continues to grow and develop. Inspired by them, Murdo has written several new works.

Last spring saw an Evensong at Whitsun with Murdo’s Stockholm Canticles Nr. 3. He also composed a new 3-part motet, Ave Maria, which was sung at the Annunciation.

Once the choir had returned from the summer holiday, we sang an anthem every Sunday in October and then repeated the Evensong programme from the spring on Nov. 5th (All Saints). Following that we heard Murdo’s Requiem and Emma’s beautiful rendering of the Duruflé Pie Jesu for Remembrance, the music for the Advent services and the splendid Carol Service as we ended 2017.

Thus far in 2018 we have included special music for Epiphany and Candlemas and sung the Byrd Ave Verum and 3-part Mass, and Mudd’s Let Thy Merciful Ears. As a special treat this Easter we heard Helen Liddle on her fiddle in the Leighton Easter Sequence, accompanied by the ladies of the choir. Murdo’s Stockholm Canticles Nr. 2 were given in instalments for Candlemas and Annunciation and will be included in the next Choral Evensong on June 3rd.

The good work flows on; our deepest thanks to one and all,
Christine and Murdo Morgan

Deanery Synod

This chaplaincy belongs to a deanery - a geographical subdivision of the Diocese in Europe. Ours covers the Nordic and Baltic region, including Iceland. Nick is the Area Dean – a rather ill-defined role that involves phoning up the deanery clergy and asking 'How are you doing, then?'...

Every year there's a get-together of clergy and lay representatives of the deanery chaplaincies and in 2017 it was in Stavanger in Norway. David Cordey and I went.

We were pondering the theme of children and the church. There was worship and eminent speakers were brought to us via Skype; we swapped good practice and shared problems, and meals together.

It was a stimulus to look at the efforts we make here to involve children in the actvities and ministries that keep us going Sunday by Sunday: reading, praying, serving, singing, welcoming and so on. How are we doing? I'll need to report back at the next synod, which will be in Reykjavik in September this year.

Nick Howe

Lesson Readers

Pamela is our Reader – licensed by the Bishop to preach to us. We really value her in that ministry, and she also organises our other readers (with a little r)...

The reading of the Bible in church is a vital part of our worship. The Bible is the basis for all  Christian teaching and God speaks to us through its verses. Therefore reading the Bible in a clear and understandable manner is extremely important and in this congregation we are very fortunate to have a first class team of readers.

During the past 12 months we were joined by Maletta Pfeiffer and David Lynn, making about 20 people of all ages currently on the reading team. The other team members are Paul Leopold, Elizabeth Hammarskjöld, Rebecca Foreman, Johan Nordenfelt, Will Mallender, David Cordey, Claire Wigg, Tom Heberlein, Nelson Mugenyi , Filip Karlsson, Amanda Karlsson, Kathrin Kaufhold, Erica Ohene-Bekoe, Terry Morris, Simon Missier, Emma Grossmith and myself. 

I am always on the look out for new talent and the reading team continues to expand to reflect the diversity of our congregation.

Pamela Henderson

New to St Peter and St Sigfrid's

During 2017, I have both attended the Sunday services as a member of the choir, and I’ve spent the weekdays in the church practising my singing. I have many impressions and thoughts, but I’ll just write down a few.

As a part of Sunday services I have felt very welcomed from day one. The congregation is an exceptionally open and welcoming one, I reckon. Anyone is welcome to take part as much as one sees fit, and I am loving it.

I am also very glad to have given the freedom to practise in the church during the week. It is just one more example of how generous the church is. However, there are some things, purely mechanical things, that I’ve had some problems with.

When I’ve been to the church during the week, it’s been very cold. Also the cellar, where the choir robes are kept, is always too cold. I understand that there isn’t enough money to keep the church warm all week, but perhaps an upgrade in the heating system should be discussed? For the church is sometimes not warm enough even on Sundays. The lock on the door on the south side stops working at times. I’ve already talked to Nick about this, and I understand why it’s difficult to do anything about, but I thought I’d mention it as one of my observations.

So generally, I love the English church, but would perhaps love it even more if it were a tad warmer.

Jess Elevant

Property

Many people may not be aware that up to 2012, the church was burdened with the monthly cost of 19000 Kr for the first hand rental of our then chaplaincy flat on Strandvägen. The bold decision to purchase this flat through an interest only bank loan and its subsequent successful sale enabled the church to buy outright our current chaplaincy flat in Karlbergsvägen for 5.74million Kr.

During this process we were also fortunate to be granted a first hand rental on a smaller flat in Rindogätan. This apartment was successfully let to SVT for five years then we were fortunate to find new tenants who commenced their tenancy on the 8th Feb 2017 and this arrangement has happily continued for all concerned. The income from this arrangement is sufficient to cover our own costs for the Rindogätan flat and the monthly avgift on our Karlbergsvägen property.

This means that our net accommodation costs continue to be zero. Furthermore the value of the current chaplaincy flat has increased considerably during our period of ownership. This enables our finances to be directed towards the many other commitments and responsibilities we have with our ageing church building and the many other areas of our church life and mission.

The properties occasionally require some maintenance work (as is always the case!) and if anyone can recommend a handyman/woman who is available for such tasks at a reasonable rate please let me know. Indeed there maybe someone in the congregation with such skills and if so please do not hesitate to reveal yourself!

David Cordey

Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

This church is here for people as they celebrate the gift of new life, commit themselves to one another in love, and let each other go at death. Each service is put together with care, to be true to those involved and to the life and hope we have in Jesus Christ...

Baptised here this past year were: Oluwasemilore Osho, Eliza Marie and Julia Estrid Salisbury Friedman, Elise Margaret Atkins, Isabelle Caroline Penelope Whitelocke, Ingrid Hägglund, Savannah Marie Audrey Fischerström Lodin, Alice Elizabeth Emödi, and Peter James Stephen Kemp.

Married here were (among others): Benjamin Craven and Ebba Horn af Åminne, Tim Eliasson and Diana Eklöw, Henrik Nordebrink and Maria Nilsson, Steven Biles and Merja Sandelin, Eva Gagnfors and Ulf Hellström, Bjorn Rost and Florence Finnström, and Sarah Thomsen and Gunnar Westling.

And we had funerals here for Ruth Du Rietz, Chris Wilson, Ormonde Goldie, Ian Goldie and Inga Rumert. If you would like to plan ahead for yours, do have a word with me.

Nick Howe

Ecumenism

It's a fancy word for churches working and worshipping together...

Because of the Porvoo Agreement, signed in 1992, the Church of England and the Church of Sweden are particularly close, and locally this means that we can welcome Church of Sweden priests like the wonderful Georgina Formhammar and J.P. Mokgethi-Heath to lead our services.

And I am an honoury member of the Cathedral staff, leading Morning Prayer there once or twice a week, using their photocopier for things like this, joining in the Wednesday clergy meeting, advising them on their English, having a guest slot at some events and leading Heaven in Ordinary (a series looking at the spirituality of everyday things) twice a year as part of their Katedral Akademi programme.

We are ecumenical pioneers! And it gives me the kind of colleagues that many chaplains elsewhere in Europe can only dream about.

Nick Howe

New to St Peter and St Sigfrid's

Anita and I used to attend Sunday Eucharist in the early nineties, then moved to Scotland, returning in November 2016.

The congregation has grown and the organisation has changed or perhaps moved with the times. Back in the nineties there was a solid phalnax who attended every Sunday. We used to stand up when Princess Lilian went up to her pew at the front on the right. There was very fine chaplain – I think his name was Father James – with a fine voice and intense spirituality. I was going through a divorce then and kept myself to myself. I gained much solace from the services.

Since we got back from 20 years in Elgin we have become more and more regular attenders. We join in more having coffee after the service, even meeting members of the congregation outside of church. We've been to a BBQ and an introductory talk, both of which helped us feel more included and involved with Nick's work.

Every Sunday we see many different people reading the lessons, serving at altar or taking the collection – not least those who hand out the order of service as we come in. The choir is vibrant and organists are first class. The church is well kept and often quite warm! The tea and coffee are great.

The Archbishop of Canterbury ought to come over and see how it's done.

Yours aye.

David Anderson

Stewardship and Fundraising

Pledging our giving helps us with the budget. Simbi looks after this for us. And many others, like the indefatigable Janice Dunkerley Archer and Anne Danielsson, work to ensure that bazaar, bake sale and suchlike activities are a success - and help us give money away. And then there was the recent concert for the heating system...

In December 2017 letters were addressed to people on the electoral roll, asking them to pledge their giving for the church. In the first quarter of this year 2018 we received completed forms and a total pledge of 210 300 SEK.

Thank you to those who have pledged their giving. And if you haven't quite got round to pledging yours yet there are forms for this – and for UK GiftAid - on the notice board.

The Christmas Bazaar was, perhaps, a little quieter than usual, but still a lot of hard work and fun and a useful fundraiser for us and for Medicins Sans Frontieres. Our riotous Harvest Auction raised money for Save to Children's work with huricane victims in the Caribbean. And our Easter Bake Sale brought in money for the Bishop's Appeal for unaccompanied child migrants in Calais. We also had another succesful Winter Clothes Drive.

And then there was the concert, thought up by Miranda Colchester and Beverly Tengström and organised – and delivered! - by them, with the breathtaking musicianship of Mark Tatlow and his singers, and all generously hosted by Sharon and David Cairns in the British Ambassador's Residence. Huge thanks to them all. And to those who attended with the intent to donate. It was a delightful evening, and the money is still coming in...

Simbi Osho

Nick Howe

Welcomers

2017 was a good year for the Welcomer team - we tripled the team from four to over 12 members by end of the year!

Sunday Welcomers make sure that everyone is greeted with a smile (and a service sheet!) as they arrive at the church. We also inform parents about arrangements for children and infants, point out the facilities to visitors