|Bishop Michael Ipgrave|
The Bishop of Lichfield, Dr Michael Ipgrave opened the Anglican Lutheran Society Conference in Trondheim Norway today, and introduced the opening speaker, Presiding Bishop of the Church of Norway, the Most Revd Olav Fyske Tveit. Bishop Olav both inspired us and challenged us in recounting his years of experience in the ecumenical movement, including being the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches of 10 years.
|Presiding Bishop Olav Fyske Tveit of the Church of Norway,|
The theme of the Conference is “A Pilgrimage Towards Hope” and we are blessed to have such a gathering of Christian leaders, pastors and laity, who are committed to our common pilgrimage as Anglicans and Lutherans world-wide, to manifest the unity which is Christ’s will for the Church.
The first day of the conference coincided with the feast of St James the Apostle, the patron of pilgrims. It is a tradition in the Nidaros (Trondheim) Cathedral to honour St James, one of the saints whose statues adorn the great west front of the Cathedral, with a wreath at the start of the pilgrim’s mass, at which our conference delegates received a warm welcome. A priest was raised up on a boom lift to bring the wreath to St Olav. Now that is a new definition of "high church".
Trondheim is itself at the climax of an ancient pilgrimage route, being the final resting place of St Olav. But the pilgrim mass was not merely a commemoration of the past, but reminded today’s pilgrims (and all Christians are pilgrims through this life, surely) of our need to tread lightly on our beloved planet, with the breathtaking model of our precious planet, just behind the nave altar with the image of our crucified Lord.
Our own Diocese in Europe has a presence in Trondheim with a vibrant community, part of the Anglican Church in Norway. Present at the mass were several members of our Anglican community, together with their Senior Chaplain, the Revd Canon Joanna Udal, who is attending the conference.