Sunday 23 March, the Scandinavian Church in Bangkok celebrated its 10 year anniversary with a special sermon for the more than 80 participants who joined the event followed by a dinner on the terrace of the Church.
Jubilee Greetings were conveyed by the Swedish Ambassador Jan Nordlander, Mrs. Ingrid Farner on behalf of the Norwegian Ambassador and Church Council Chairman Kristina Kamsaeter.
At the center of the celebrations were Tommy and Monica Qwennerberg who established the Church – then named Svenska Kyrkan i Bangkok – in its first location in a townhouse in Sukhumvit Soi 49 in March 1993.
Our current priest Ulf Claesson was the host of the evening and introduced as toastmaster the many speeches and performances by the Church Choir under the leadership of Irene Kroon, Tommy Qwennerberg, Thorleif Hawi – who had composed a song for the occasion – and Kenneth Radencrantz.
Main speaker of the evening was held by jubilee arrangement organizer Par Hollertz, who took us back 10 years to the early days of the church.
“I would say that we have gone through three phases of the development of the church,” he said, naming them “Den Qwennerbergska uppstartnings fasen”, “Den Olssonsska utvecklings fasen” and “Den Claessonska konsoliderings fasen”.
His recollection of the differences in attitude of the three priests called a lot of chuckle among the participants – not least the fast moving Olof and Maria Olsson, who significantly upon their arrival didn’t wait for someone to bring them the key but simply climbed the gate and broke into the church!
It was also the Olssons who renamed the church “Scandinavian Church in Bangkok” and secured a Norwegian assistant – paid for! – without bothering to correct the bylaws. That was of course taken care of by their more meticulous successors Marita and Ulf Claesson.
The jubilee celebrations which started in a tropical thunderstorm ended in a cozy night on the terrace with more guitar playing and songs till midnight.
Ulf Claesson and wife Marita, who will leave Bangkok by June 1, will in Mid-August be replaced by Lennart and Lis Marak. The new priest comes from Helsingborg and the couple brings along their 7 year old daughter Miranda.