is an assistant priest in the Anglican Church in Norway. She is based in the ancient city of Trondheim where our congregation meets at the Cathedral. Mary writes of her experience of ecumenical life:
In Norway, Trondheim is considered strong on ecumenics, being the only town in the country to have its own Christian Council where all the different churches are members. This last year I have been deputy leader - quite a lot of leadership responsibility The Anglicans here are known for being dedicated to ecumenical work. Recently the local Lutheran bishop of the Norwegian Church acknowledged that it was the smaller churches that made most of the running in ecumenical efforts, and that he wanted to encourage the majority state Church to take more responsibility and initiative.The Council mainly keeps the ball rolling by organising the regular annual events - Week of Prayer, Women's World Day of Prayer, Procession of the Cross on Good Friday, town procession on "national day", but sometimes there are additional special events and seminars. There is a feeling that it can be a bit of a struggle due to ongoing tensions between groups of Christians about women's roles, homosexual rights, Israel/Palestine support and so on, but there also seems to be enough determination to keep on seeking to work together anyway.
Personally I vary between thinking "Have I really got time for this?" to thinking that it may actually be the most important work I do!