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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Bringing greetings to the new Bishop of Gothenburg

On 4 March in the ancient cathedral in Uppsala, I represented the Church of England at the consecration of Susanne Rappmann to be the next bishop of Gothenburg. I was able to extend greetings not only from the Church of England as a Porvoo partner church, but also from our own parish of St Andrew in Gothenburg, which has worked closely with the Swedish diocese over the years, especially in student ministry.

Bishop Susanne was consecrated in a solemn yet joyful service by the Archbishop of Uppsala, the Most Revd Antje Jackelén, who was assisted by several Swedish bishops, the Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Bishop of Iceland, the Bishop of Berlin-Brandenburg.and Bishop Absalom Mnisi of Swaziland. Bishop Absalom's diocese is twinned with Gothenburg, and it was good to have a time to catch up with him and with the Dean of Gothenburg Cathedral, Karin Burstrand, a strong supporter of our Anglican parish in that city.

Bishop Absalom and Dean Burstrand
Consecrations in the Church of Sweden are very similar to those in the Church of England, and are always set in the context of the högmässa, or High Mass of the Church. Besides a colourful array of bishops, many ecumenical guests were present, from the Roman Catholic Church, the Coptic and Syrian Orthodox, the Salvation Army and other free churches.

Bishop Suzanne has chosen as her motto, Vår Gud bär sår which I think means "Our God bears wounds". She says this motto reminds us of our calling to bear the wounds of others, and like Christ our God who bore the wounds of the cross but who rose again, to spread hope in the world.

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