Nordic churches in London

Last updated

There are several long-established Nordic churches in London. All seek to provide Lutheran Christian worship and pastoral care to their respective national communities in their own languages. Many of the churches also organise language classes and organise a wide range of social activities.


Danish Church

Danish Church (St. Katharine's) DanishChLondon.JPG
Danish Church (St. Katharine's)

The church is located at 4 Saint Katharine's Precinct, Regent's Park, London NW1 4HH (off Albany Street) ( 51°32′2″N0°8′48″W / 51.53389°N 0.14667°W / 51.53389; -0.14667 ). The nearest London Underground stations are Camden Town or Great Portland Street. The building is the former Anglican chapel of St Katharine's Hospital, which retains its original dedication to Saint Katharine, and was built in 1826-8. The architect was Ambrose Poynter. [1] It has been Grade II* listed since 1954.

London Underground rapid transit system in London, United Kingdom

The London Underground is a public rapid transit system serving London, England and some parts of the adjacent counties of Buckinghamshire, Essex and Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom.

Camden Town tube station London Underground station

Camden Town is a London Underground station on the Northern line. It is a major junction for the line and one of the busiest stations on the London Underground network. It is particularly busy with visitors to the Camden markets at weekends, and is exit-only on Sundays to prevent overcrowding.

Great Portland Street tube station London Underground station

Great Portland Street is a London Underground station near Regent's Park. It is between Baker Street and Euston Square on the Hammersmith & City, Circle and Metropolitan lines. Great Portland Street station is listed as a building of National Significance and lies in Travelcard Zone 1.

The Danish Seamen's Mission in London is based at 322 Rope Street, Rotherhithe ( 51°29′40″N0°2′1″W / 51.49444°N 0.03361°W / 51.49444; -0.03361 ). There is also a Danish Church in Hull (the St Nikolaj Danish Seamen's Church at 104 Osborne Street) ( 53°44′33″N0°20′44″W / 53.74250°N 0.34556°W / 53.74250; -0.34556 ).

Rotherhithe residential district in southeast London, England

Rotherhithe is a residential district in south-east London, England, and part of the London Borough of Southwark. It is part of the traditional county of Surrey, but for administrative purposes was part of the County of London following the passing of the Local Government Act 1888, it later became part of Greater London in 1965. Historically the area was the most northeastern settlement in the county of Surrey. It is located on a peninsula on the south bank of the Thames, facing Wapping and the Isle of Dogs on the north bank, and is a part of the Docklands area. It borders Bermondsey to the west and Deptford to the south east.

Kingston upon Hull City and unitary authority in England

Kingston upon Hull, usually abbreviated to Hull, is a port city and unitary authority in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It lies upon the River Hull at its confluence with the Humber Estuary, 25 miles (40 km) inland from the North Sea, 50 miles east of Leeds, 34 miles southeast of York and 54 miles northeast of Sheffield. With a population of 260,700 (mid-2017 est.), Hull is the fourth-largest city in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The London and Hull congregations are both part of the Danske Sømands og Udlands Kirker (DSUK) - The Danish Church Abroad / Danish Seamen's Church. The DSUK was founded in 2004 through the merger of The Danish Church Abroad and The Danish Seamen's Church in Foreign Ports. The DSUK is affiliated to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark.

Church of Denmark Evangelical-Lutheran denomination in Denmark

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark or National Church, sometimes called Church of Denmark, is the established, state-supported church in Denmark. The reigning monarch is the supreme secular authority in the church. As of 1 January 2019, 74.7% of the population of Denmark are members, though membership is voluntary.

From 1696 to 1870 there was a Danish church in Wellclose Square. It was built by Caius Gabriel Cibber who was born in Denmark. His wooden figures of Moses and Saint John the Baptist were taken from the original church and placed in St. Katharine's. [1]

Wellclose Square is a public square in Whitechapel and is in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, between Cable Street to the north and The Highway to the south.

Caius Gabriel Cibber British artist

Caius Gabriel Cibber (1630–1700) was a Danish sculptor, who enjoyed great success in England, and was the father of the actor, author and poet laureate Colley Cibber. He was appointed "carver to the king's closet" by William III.

Moses person, mentioned in the Torah (Pentateuch) and in the Quran, who led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to Canaan

Moses was a prophet according to the teachings of the Abrahamic religions. Scholarly consensus sees Moses as a legendary figure and not a historical person, while retaining the possibility that a Moses-like figure existed.

Finnish Church

Finnish Church FinnChLondon.JPG
Finnish Church

The Finnish Seamen's Mission and church (Suomen Merimieskirkko, Finlands Sjömanskyrka) is located at 33 Albion Street, Rotherhithe, London, SE16 ( 51°29′58″N0°3′11″W / 51.49944°N 0.05306°W / 51.49944; -0.05306 ). The current rector is Revd Marjaana Härkönen. The church also has a shop selling Finnish products and has hostel accommodation for visitors to London.

Finnish Seamens Mission

The Finnish Seamen's Mission was established in 1875. It was established to help Finns travelling abroad, particularly seafarers and migrant workers. It is a Christian organisation which, as well as providing church services and pastoral care, also aims to provide cultural and social services to the Finnish community. The Secretary General (Pääsihteeri) as of 2015 is Hannu Suihkonen.

The London church and mission was first established in 1882, when the Finnish port chaplain who had been sent to Hull in 1880 was relocated south because of the level of work demanded in London. The present church building was opened in 1958 and refurbished in 2006; its distinctive architecture is recognised as a Grade II listed building. The architect was Cyrill Mardall-Sjöström.

Rotherhithe railway station (on the London Overground) is located nearby (on Brunel Road). The nearest alternative is Canada Water station on the Jubilee line. It is also possible to take bus routes 381 or C10 to Rotherhithe station.

The approach ramp to the Rotherhithe Tunnel is immediately behind the church (between Albion Street and Brunel Road). The Brunel Engine House is nearby; Rotherhithe Library is located between the Finnish Church and St Olav's Norwegian Church.

Icelandic congregation

Lutheran services in Icelandic are held (usually on the third Sunday of every month) at the German Church (Christuskirche), 19 Montpelier Place, Knightsbridge ( 51°29′58″N0°9′58″W / 51.49944°N 0.16611°W / 51.49944; -0.16611 ). There are also regular Icelandic services being held at the Ulrika Eleonora Swedish Church of London, Harcourt Street.

Norwegian Church

Norwegian Church (St. Olav's) Rotherhithe st olavs 1.jpg
Norwegian Church (St. Olav's)

There has been a Norwegian church in London since the late 17th century. The current church building (St Olav's, designed by John Love Seaton Dahl), was consecrated in 1927, the foundation stone was laid the previous year by Prince Olav (later King Olav V of Norway). King Haakon VII and the Norwegian government in exile regularly worshipped at the church during World War II, when the church was given the status of a pro-cathedral. The church has been a Grade II listed building since 1949.

St Olav's Church is located close to the River Thames in Rotherhithe at 1 St Olav's Square, Albion Street (next to the entrance to the Rotherhithe Tunnel) ( 51°29′57″N0°3′15″W / 51.49917°N 0.05417°W / 51.49917; -0.05417 ). The nearest Underground stations are Rotherhithe or Canada Water. The congregation is part of the Norwegian Church Abroad (also called The Norwegian Seamen's Churches or in Norwegian, Sjømannskirken.) The Finnish Church (see above) is located nearby in Albion Street.

The Norwegian Church Abroad also runs the Norwegian Fishermans' Church, Liverpool, and formerly ran the Norwegian Church, Cardiff.

In addition to regular church events, the church organises activities such as Saturday school and football practice.

Swedish Church

Swedish Church, Harcourt St. SwedChLondon.JPG
Swedish Church, Harcourt St.

The Ulrika Eleonora Swedish Parish in London is part of "Church of Sweden Abroad" (SKUT). The first church for the Swedish community in London opened in Princes Square in Wapping in 1728, but it was replaced and relocated in the early 20th century. There is now only one Swedish church in London - Ulrika Eleonora.

Ulrika Eleonora Church is located at 6 Harcourt Street, Marylebone ( 51°31′12″N0°9′53″W / 51.52000°N 0.16472°W / 51.52000; -0.16472 ). It was built in 1911 and is a Grade II listed building. The altar, pulpit, fonts and chandeliers are from the former church in Wapping. As well as the church and staff accommodation, there is also a reading room, church hall, library and parish office. The nearest Underground station is Edgware Road on the Circle line, District line and Hammersmith & City line.

Swedish Seamen's Church, London SwedishSeaChLondon.JPG
Swedish Seamen's Church, London

The Swedish Seamen's Church was opened at 120 Lower Road, Rotherhithe ( 51°29′42″N0°3′3″W / 51.49500°N 0.05083°W / 51.49500; -0.05083 ) in 1905. It closed down in December 2012.

SKUT is accountable to the General Synod of the Church of Sweden. SKUT provides 3 staff and the congregation is responsible for other staff, Buildings etc. Since 2002 SKUT has been linked to the Diocese of Visby; the Bishop of Visby is responsible for episcopal oversight.

See also

Related Research Articles

Church of Sweden Evangelical-Lutheran denomination in Sweden

The Church of Sweden is an Evangelical Lutheran national church in Sweden. A former state church, headquartered in Uppsala, with 5.9 million baptised members at year end 2018 it is the largest Christian denomination in Sweden.

Olaf II of Norway king of Norway

Olaf II Haraldsson, later known as St. Olaf, was King of Norway from 1015 to 1028. He was posthumously given the title Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae and canonised at Nidaros (Trondheim) by Bishop Grimkell, one year after his death in the Battle of Stiklestad on 29 July 1030. His remains were enshrined in Nidaros Cathedral, built over his burial site. His sainthood encouraged the widespread adoption of the Christian religion among the Vikings / Norsemen in Scandinavia.

Porvoo Communion communion of 13 mainly northern European Anglican and Lutheran churches

The Porvoo Communion is a communion of 15 predominantly northern European, with a couple of far-southwestern European Anglican and Evangelical Lutheran church bodies. It was established in 1992 by a theological agreement entitled the Porvoo Common Statement which establishes full communion between and among these churches. The agreement was negotiated in the town of Järvenpää in Finland, but the communion's name comes from the nearby city of Porvoo where there was a joint celebration of the Eucharist in Porvoo Cathedral after the formal signing in Järvenpää.

Church of Iceland Lutheran Church of Iceland

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, also called the National Church, is the officially established Christian church in Iceland. The church professes the Lutheran faith and is a member of the Porvoo Communion.

Helsinki Cathedral Church in Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki Cathedral is the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki, located in the neighborhood of Kruununhaka in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. The church was originally built from 1830-1852 as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. It was also known as St Nicholas' Church until the independence of Finland in 1917. It is a major landmark of the city.

Canada Water

Canada Water is an area of the Docklands in south-east London. It is named after a freshwater lake and wildlife refuge. Canada Water tube, Overground and bus station is immediately north of the lake, along with Canada Water Library which overhangs the lake and Deal Porter Square. Surrey Quays Shopping Centre is also adjacent, sitting immediately to the south. The surrounding area, which forms the town centre of Rotherhithe, is now increasingly known as Canada Water, after the transport interchange as much as the lake itself. The area is famous for being the terminus point for the bus route number 1.

Norwegian Church Abroad

The Norwegian Church Abroad or The Norwegian Seamen’s Church is a religious organisation serving Norwegians and other Scandinavians travelling abroad. Founded in 1864, The Norwegian Seamen’s Mission – Sjømannsmisjonen – was established to secure the moral and religious education of Scandinavian seafarers, but also to give them a "breathing room" where a fellow countryman was available to lend an ear and give some attention. Today, the churches and their staff together with travelling pastors around the globe represent a "resource center" for all Norwegians travelling internationally.

Lutheranism by region

Lutheranism is present on all inhabited continents with an estimated 80 million adherents, out of which 74.2 million are affiliated with the Lutheran World Federation. A major movement that first began the Reformation, it constitutes one of the largest Protestant branches claiming around 80 million out of 920 million Protestants. The Lutheran World Federation brings together the vast majority of Lutherans. Apart from it, there are also other organisations such as the International Lutheran Council and the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference, as well as multiple independent Lutheran denominations.

Scandinavian design

Scandinavian design is a design movement characterized by simplicity, minimalism and functionality that emerged in the early 20th century, and which flourished in the 1950s, in the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

International Christian Maritime Association

The International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) is an ecumenical association of 28 Christian organisations, representing different churches and Christian communities. The members are all non-profit organisations actively engaged in welfare work for people who work at sea, including seafarers, fishers and the families of both. The Association is registered as a charity in the UK and, through its members, operates internationally.

Church of Sweden Abroad Church of Sweden congregations outside Sweden

The Church of Sweden Abroad,, is an institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden. The Church of Sweden Abroad (SKUT) has more than 40 parishes throughout the world, concentrated in Western Europe. Another 80 cities are served by visiting clergy.

A200 road road in London, England

The A200 is an A road in London running from London Bridge to Greenwich. It runs east from the A3 road along Duke Street Hill, then Tooley Street and Jamaica Road, following the River Thames until the junction with Rotherhithe Tunnel when it turns south down Lower Road. It follows the Thames again in Deptford, after passing Surrey Quays and becoming Evelyn Street. At the junction with Deptford Church Street it turns due east along Creek Road, over Deptford Creek to finish by the Cutty Sark at Greenwich Church Street, part of the A206 road.

Danish Seamens Church and Church Abroad

The Danish Seamen’s Church and Church Abroad is a Protestant church. It was founded 1 January 2004 as the result of a fusion between the Danish Church Abroad and the Danish Seamen's Church in foreign ports. It was established to help Danes travelling abroad, particularly seafarers and migrant workers.

Scandinavian Brazilians refers to Brazilians of full or partial Scandinavian ancestry, or Scandinavian-born people residing in Brazil.

Norwegian Seamens Church, San Pedro

The Norwegian Seamen's Church is a Norwegian Church Abroad that doubles as the Church of Sweden Los Angeles, also known as the Swedish Seamen's Church. It is located at 1035 South Beacon Street in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles, California and is also part of the Church of Sweden Abroad. A print on the wall of the lounge area shows an architectural painting indicating Kemper Nomland as the architect.

Swedes in the United Kingdom are immigrants from Sweden living in the United Kingdom as well as their British-born descendants. Although only around 38,000 Swedish-born people live in the UK, millions of Britons have some degree of Scandinavian ancestry that dates back over 1,000 years to the Viking invasion of Great Britain. The Swedish community in the UK is amongst the largest in the Swedish diaspora; in 2001 only the United States, Norway and Finland within the OECD had larger Swedish-born populations.

Helsinki Old Church Church in Helsinki, Finland

The Old Church of Helsinki, designed by Carl Ludvig Engel and completed in 1826, is an Evangelical Lutheran church in Helsinki. The oldest existing church in central Helsinki, the church was originally planned as a temporary building as the Ulrika Eleonora Church constructed in 1727 had become too small for the congregation and the new church, Helsinki Cathedral, would not be completed until 1852. However, the city's rapid population growth from the early 19th century onwards ensured that the church would remain needed, and also necessitated the construction of many other churches.

Norwegian Seamens Church, New York

The Norwegian Seamen's Church in New York is a Lutheran church serving Norwegian sailors, residents, and visitors in the greater New York City area. The church is located in 317 East 52nd Street on the east side of Manhattan in New York City. It was once located in Carroll Gardens


  1. 1 2 Weinreb, Ben and Hibbert, Christopher (1992). The London Encyclopaedia (reprint ed.). Macmillan. p. 748.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)