Our Chaplain

Greetings from Revd Canon Joanna Udal, 

Senior Chaplain to the Anglican Chaplaincy in Norway

The love of Christ urges us on (2 Corinthians 5.14)

It’s a great joy to have been called to serve God in Norway, in leading the Anglican Chaplaincy in Norway and in sharing in your life and mission among the whole people of God in such a beautiful and vibrant country.

I look forward very much to being rooted in the community of St Edmund’s, Oslo, and to getting to know the congregations and clergy serving in Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger, as well as the other locations, and to working together to build up the one Body of Christ in the service of God’s kingdom.

Having worked for the shipping industry before ordination, I first visited Norway for a colleague’s wedding in the beautiful stave church on top of the Holmenkollen, trying out the bob sleigh run the night before the wedding!

Although ordained in the Diocese of London, much of my experience of ordained ministry has been in hotter climes, with 8 years spent in Sudan and South Sudan as assistant to the Sudanese Archbishop based in Khartoum and more recently ministering in Morocco. But my greatest insight into the wider Anglican Communion came from 5 years serving as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs. This gave me a strong sense of the particular vocation of the Anglican Communion to live out our communion in Christ through embracing difference of culture and ethnicity and even of strongly held views.

I also hold a deep ecumenical commitment, as a graduate of the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey in Switzerland and having shared religious life for several years with a Roman Catholic community living a contemplative life in the heart of everyday life and work. I look forward to getting to know the Church of Norway and to a deepening of relations enjoyed through the Porvoo Communion.

I also look forward to discovering the outdoor possibilities of the Norwegian landscape and climate with my interest in bird-watching and hill-walking, and to discovering the musical scene, having a special love of choral music and opera.

I’d be very grateful for your prayers as I move to Oslo and enter straight into quarantine. I plan to use part of that time for retreat, very much in solidarity with everyone affected by the anxieties and uncertainties of this pandemic year. Meanwhile every blessing on you all and on our future ministry together.

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