The Norwegian Seamen’s Church (Norwegian: Sjømannskirken) is a religious organization serving Norwegians and other Scandinavians traveling abroad. Founded in 1864, The Norwegian Seamen’s Mission 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 traveling internationally.
Sjømannskirken annually serves around 700 thousand Norwegians through over 30 churches and 16 mobile services in 30 countries around the world. Several churches operate on a Scandinavian basis. The Norwegian Church Abroad, its main office in Bergen, is a charitable organization supported by the Church of Norway and the Norwegian Government.
For most Norwegians traveling abroad, Sjømannskirken is a nice place to rest: One can read newspapers from home, buy Norwegian food (as waffles with Brunost) and speak to other Norwegians. Many Norwegians living permanently abroad use the seamen’s churches instead of the local ones. Some of the churches rent out conference rooms, apartments and rooms for overnight accommodation.
- Houston: The Norwegian Seamen’s Church of Houston, 4309 Young Street, Pasadena, TX 77504
- Los Angeles/ San Pedro: 1035 South Beacon Street, San Pedro, CA 90731
- Miami: Kronprinsesse Mette-Marits kirke, Scandinavian Church & Center.
2950 S Flamingo Rd, Davie FL 33330
There has been a Norwegian Seamen’s church in Miami since the early 1980s. In November 2011, Crown Princess Mette-Marit opened a new church building. It was built as a center for the 10,000 Scandinavians that live in Florida. Around 4,000 of them are Norwegian. The church is also an important place for the 150 Norwegians that work at Disney World.
- New Orleans: The Norwegian Church in New Orleans, 1772 Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
- New York: The Norwegian Church in New York, 317 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022
- San Francisco: The Norwegian Church in San Francisco, 2454 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
For more information about churches in other regions, please go to the Norwegian Seamen’s Church’s homepage. You will always feel welcome!
Source: Wikipedia, Sjømannskirken
Text modified by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews
Photo by: Norwegian Seamen’s Church