Katarina Toll Koril
She would like her fellow workers in the parishes to stop saying ‘you in the diocese’ and begin to say ‘we in the diocese’. And she believes that ‘Till tro!’ (Växjö’s adaptation of the Oxford Diocese ‘Living Faith’ programme) can be the way to achieve that. Katarina Toll Koril is the new head (Diocesan Secretary) of the Växjö Diocesan Office.
After serving as head of the Education, Development and Recruitment department from 2008 and as Acting Diocesan Secretary from 2010, Katarina Toll Koril now takes over as Diocesan Secretary in earnest.
“It feels very exciting and interesting. This role brings together two things that are important to me. I can work to promote the church’s fundamental commission and also with administrative issues”, says Katarina Toll Koril.
Katarina has 15 years’ experience of parish work in the suburbs and rural areas. Among the posts she has held are that of pastor of Bäckseda-Korsberga Pastorate and that of rural dean in the Västra and Östra Njudung Deanery. She has also been involved in union work, including holding the role of first vice-chair in The Church’s Graduates’ Union (Kyrkans Akademikerförbund) which represents the interests of priests and others employed by the Church of Sweden.
With her experience of parish work and work in the diocesan office, Katarina sees a need to work at the interplay between the various levels in the church. Among other things, she would like to create an awareness that Växjö Diocese is not just the diocesan office, but the diocesan office and all the parishes together.
“I want the parishes to see the diocesan office as a partner, as a resource and sounding board. It is important to have dialogue in both directions”, says Katarina.
Katarina thinks it important to engender unity both in the diocese in general and in the diocesan office. She thinks that the diocesan office is an exciting working place as there are so many different ‘professions’ and a high level of competence.
“There are many who work quite independently and in those cases it is important to see one’s own role in the greater context, so that, at bottom, we all work for the same thing”, says Katarina.
The ‘Till tro! concept which will permeate the work of the diocese in the coming five years can potentially hold the work together, Katarina believes.
“Till tro! is a template (or framework) against which we can compare what we do. I believe it important that we ‘talk faith’ with one another, on the individual level, the parish level and between the diocesan office and parish”, says Katarina.
She does not, however, see it as her responsibility as diocesan secretary to come up with all the ideas, but to listen, to consider and sometimes take decisions. And, above all, to be a link between governing body and personnel.
The greatest challenge she sees for the future is that the church will have limited resources. But this fact also brings with it many opportunities, according to Katarina Toll Koril. Such as thinking about what is most important for the Swedish church.
“Sometimes we are so keen for people to join us that we will do almost anything, but I don’t believe in watering down the message. It should be challenging to be a Christian. The most important thing is that we dare to be church.”
Charlotte Granrot Frenberg
(Translation: Michael Nunn)