PRESS RELEASE and PETITION from the Church Council of the Scandinavian Church in Liverpool and Liverpool International Nordic Community:
A Famous Liverpool Landmark,
The Scandinavian Seamen\'s Church, Faces Closure.
The Board of the Swedish Church Abroad (SKUT) met in February in Uppsala, Sweden. It decided to transfer the Liverpool vicar\'s post to London, (which already has a staffing complement of 11), to make it into a travelling post for U.K. and Ireland, to evict the congregation in December 2008 and to put the church up for sale. As you can imagine, everyone connected with the Church in Liverpool and on Merseyside is absolutely shocked at this decision which may place short-term financial gain above the interests of an active church community.
The Church Council, the Liverpool International Nordic Community and the congregation will take every necessary step to contest the decision of the SKUT board in order to prevent the eviction of the congregation and the sale of the church.
Our reasons are:
-SKUT\'s own review endorsed the continuation of activities in Liverpool.
A major review last year, commissioned by SKUT, of its activities in the United Kingdom came out strongly in favour of retaining a major involvement in Liverpool as a regional centre for serving the needs of all Scandinavians in northern England, North Wales, Ireland and Scotland, including the many seafarers visiting the port of Liverpool, students, young people living in the North-West and Nordic tourists.
-The Church at Liverpool is a thriving congregation.
The Scandinavian Seamen\'s Church is not a failing congregation: it has almost 200 paying members, ranging from young children to Norwegian war veterans, last year ca 14000 people visited the church, over 1,000 people attended communion and it made an operating profit of over 24,000 pounds. The Liverpool International Nordic Community, as the registered charity for sustaining the wider role of the Church, has been extremely successful in securing grant income of over 40,000 ppounds and in taking forward a range of cultural activities. It has recently been awarded a grant from Liverpool City Council in order to organize a week of Scandinavian cultural events as a contribution to the city\'s celebration of its role as European Capital of Culture.
-The Historic Significance of the Church as a site of Christian Worship.
The building itself is Sweden\'s (and Scandinavia\'s) oldest overseas mission church in continuous operation. It was built on land provided by the Corporation of Liverpool and its activities have been supported by charitable donations from the business community, the local congregation, and many public bodies. It has been a continuous place of Christian witness since it opened almost 125 years ago in 1884 and provided support for tens of thousands of emigrants on their way to the New World. It is an important building in terms of Liverpool\'s history and its heritage significance (Grade II). It was the first commission carried out by W.D. Car
The Church Council, Scandinavian Seamen\'s Church Liverpool,
Liverpool international Nordic Community, a charity set up to support the church and its building.
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