On the one hand, an attentive, hope-inspiring Church that has many opportunities for contact and in which people place a great deal of trust. On the other hand, members with a weak relationship to the Church and indifference to the Christian faith. This was demonstrated by the “Member 2010” study, in which 10,700 members described their relationship with the Church of Sweden.
Welcome to a journalists’ seminar about the expanse between these two views! Sociologist of religion/researcher Jonas Bromander will present what the results of the study say about the future, and Bishop of Stockholm Eva Brunne will give her view of how the Church can be a Church in light of the study. The seminar will be held only in Swedish!
Time and venue: Wednesday 15 June 9–11 a.m. at Sensus, 1 Klara Södra kyrkogata, Stockholm.
Register your intention to attend by sending your name, telephone number and e-mail address to email@example.com by Monday morning 13 June. A summary of the study will be sent in advance by e-mail to registered attendees, on the condition that the information must not be made public before 1 p.m. 15 June. The book Svenska kyrkans medlemmar [The members of the Church of Sweden] (published by Verbum) will be handed out at the seminar, provided that it is printed in time.
A few results from the study:
• The Church of Sweden reaches about 85 per cent of its members during a year and a large majority intend to continue being members.
• Those who have not been confirmed seem to find it more difficult to see the relevance of their membership. There is an increasing tendency among those who have not been confirmed to end their membership in the Church of Sweden. Ninety per cent of members have a weak relationship with the Church.
• Members’ associations with the Church are more positive than negative. The Church is perceived as both open and attentive, but also to some degree as conservative and old-fashioned.
• The people who are in greatest need of hope, comfort and open doors do not seem to feel that the Church can provide this in the same way as people who are more content with life do.
• Religious ceremonies, in other words, baptisms/christenings, confirmation, weddings and funerals, are the occasions on which the Church has most contact with members (65 per cent) as well as non-members (50 per cent). About 10 per cent of members have contacted the Church on occasions other than in conjunction with a special activity.
• Members think that the Church should primarily be for weak and vulnerable people in Sweden. Celebrating church services is less significant, especially for young people who, more than others, regard the Church as a social body, both in Sweden and abroad.
The book Svenska kyrkans medlemmar [The members of the Church of Sweden] (by Jonas Bromander and published by Verbum in 2011) is based on extensive questionnaire material with 10,700 respondents in the Medlem 2010 study, in which a random selection of the Church of Sweden’s members gave their views on the task of, and their own relationship with, the Church.