The following is an account distilled and translated from two articles in ‘Bredaryd Kyrkobladet’ (Bredaryd Church News):
In February 2010, when the snow was at its height, the 25 strong Bredaryd Church Choir, ‘Blended Voices’ (Blandade Röster) went on a choir trip. Their destination was Oxford. Before setting off, they had practised many pieces, preparing to take part in a service in the parish of St Francis of Assisi in High Wycombe, a parish in the Diocese of Oxford, which is linked with Växjö Diocese.
They were met by many members of the congregation and the Vicar, Tony Dickinson and, as well as singing at the service and enjoying the after-church coffee (accompanied by a raffle), were taken to a church lunch at the local pub, ‘The Terriers’, followed by a tour of the town.
It was all a great success and a powerful experience of participating in and contributing to the worship of God together with people of a different origin. We felt such solidarity – language and origin played no part. We shared the same faith and in that found fellowship with one another.
Of course we also caught up with some sight-seeing in the University City of Oxford; a little shopping, and good food, but above all fellowship with one another. A ‘grain of gold’ in our lives, which will live with us for a long time. The journey provided many happy memories and glorious fellowship, both as a choir and as part of a worldwide Church.
In May 2010 I met Tony at Världens Fest which was organised in Växjö. Since then we have kept in contact in the hope of developing and deepening the interchange between our parishes. As a strand in this, six people from their parish, including Tony Dickinson and his wife, will be visiting us between 22 and 24 October 2010.
On 23rd October they will share in the 10.00 a.m. Communion service. My hope is that we can give them the same generous welcome that they gave the choir and that this visit will become an opportunity for new acquaintanceships and a deepened relationship between our parishes.
Original articles by: Bella Aune, Pastor, Bredaryd.
Pictures: Tony Dickinson