A NEW app to connect members of the Swedish diaspora has been launched by the Church of Sweden Abroad.
The Church has more than 40 parishes around the world, from Sydney in Australia to Toronto in Canada. Visiting priests also serve South America and Africa.
The new app capitalises on the use of Zoom by Christian communities during the pandemic, and hopes to build deeper connections with members of the community, as well as to support fund-raising.
The director of the Church of Sweden Abroad, Rickard Jönsson, said: “The app was predominantly developed to facilitate engagement within the congregation, but also as a tool for fund-raising. With mobile priests covering large areas, they needed a way of gathering the members when they are not in the area, and the app does just that. For example, the London congregation is responsible for all the British Isles and Ireland.
“Whilst some of the clergy and staff travel continuously to meet demand, the app will allow congregation members to follow live services, recorded events, podcasts, and other activities.
“The app is designed to meet the core of what we do as a Church. We have engaged all levels in the Church of Sweden to make sure that not only God is present in it, but that all aspects of the congregations are covered in the app.
“In addition to the technical, communication, and administration specialists, the project team has had both priests and theologians assigned to make sure we cover the basics, and that functions and choices available in the app are well founded in the Church of Sweden.”
The app was developed with Degree 53 and the mobile marketing agency ConsultMyApp.
Cases of coronavirus in Sweden exceeded one million last week: it has one of the highest infection rates in Europe, and has had more than 14,000 deaths. It adopted a different approach to the pandemic, shunning widespread lockdowns.