Project Canterbury

The Church of England and the Church of Sweden

Report of the Commission Appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury

In Pursuance of Resolution 74 of the Lambeth Conference of 1908
On the Relation of the Anglican Communion to the Church of Sweden.

Milwaukee: The Young Churchman, 1911.

Contents of the Report
Including an account of the Conference held at Upsala on 21-23 September, 1909.


First Day's Proceeedings, Tuesday, 21st September

I. Episcopal Succession in Sweden and England

Second Day's Proceedings, Wednesday, 22nd September:--

1. Episcopal succession (continued)
2. Diaconate
3. Confirmation
4. Doctrinal force and authority of the "Confession Augustana invariata"
5. The doctrine of the "Confessio" with regard to Holy Communion
6. The relation of the Church of Sweden to Lutheran bodies in other countries
7. Doctrine of the Church of Sweden as to the holy ministry and the constitution of the Church

Third Day's Proceedings, Thursday, 23rd September

8. Forms of ordination in the Church of Sweden
9. Swedish Churches in the U.S.A.
10. Appointment of Committee


Appendix I. Sketch of the history of the Swedish Church by Chancellor E. R. Bernard

Appendix II. Questions which have been raised in regard to the continuity of episcopal succession in Sweden by Arthur James Mason, D.D., with the aid of notes supplied by Domprost Lundström

Appendix III. Forms of ordination of priests and consecration of bishops by the Bishop of Salisbury and the Bishop of Marquette, with the aid of Professor Quensel.

REPORT OF THE COMMISSION appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in pursuance of resolution 74 of the Lambeth Conference, 1908, to correspond with the Swedish Church through the Archbishop of Upsala on the possibilities and conditions of an alliance between the Swedish and Anglican Churches.


The Commission, which now has the honour to report, was appointed by your Grace in March, 1909, in pursuance of the following resolution of the Lambeth Conference of 1908:--

"74. This Conference heartily thanks the Archbishop of Upsala for his letter of friendly greeting, and for sending his honoured colleague, the Bishop of Kalmar, to confer with its members on the question of the establishment of an alliance of some sort between the Swedish and Anglican Churches. The Conference respectfully desires the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a Commission to correspond further with the Swedish Church through the Archbishop of Upsala on the possibility and conditions of such an alliance."

All the members of the Commission, with the exception of the Bishop of London, proceeded to Sweden in September, 1909, on the invitation of the Archbishop of Upsala (Dr. Johan August Ekman) for the purpose of holding a Conference with representatives of the Church of Sweden. Those members who first arrived were received on September 18th by his Majesty the King of Sweden, who expressed a gracious interest in the object of their visit. [The Bishop of Winchester (Dr. Herbert Ryle), Chairman; the Bishop of Salisbury (Dr. John Wordsworth); the Bishop of Marquette, U.S.A. (Dr. G. Mott Williams); Dr. A. J. Mason, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Master of Pembroke College and Canon of Canterbury; and Rev. Edward Russell Bernard, Canon and Chancellor of Salisbury Cathedral.]

The Commissioners then proceeded to Upsala, where they were warmly and hospitably welcomed. The church of the Holy Trinity was put at the disposal of the Bishop of Winchester for celebration of Holy Communion on St. Matthew's Day.

The Conference sat on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, September 21st, 22nd and 23rd, in the Chapter House, under the presidency of the Archbishop of Upsala. The Swedish members of the Conference were the following:--

The Archbishop of Upsala (Dr. Johan August Ekman).
The Bishop of Kalmar (Dr. Henry William Tottie).
The Provost of Upsala Cathedral and Professor of Church History (Dr. Anders Herman Lundström).
The Professor of Exegetics (Dr. Erik Eriksson Stave).
The Professor of Practical Theology (Dr. Johan Oscar Quensel).
The Professor of Comparative Religion (Dr. Nathan Söderblom).
The Professor of Exegetical Theology (Dr. Johan Adolf Kolmodin).
The Professor of Dogmatic and Moral Theology (Rev. Einar Magnus Billing).

All the above are members of the Chapter.

Dr. Waldemar Rudin (Member of the Swedish Academy),
Dr. Johan Erik Berggren (ex-Dom-Prost),
Dr. Carl R. Martin,
Harald Hjarne, D.Litt., LL.D., Professor of History in the University of Upsala, Member of the Swedish Academy.



Prayers were said by the archbishop, who welcomed our presence, and explained that he had invited all the bishops of the Swedish Church to attend, and also all the present and former members of the Chapter of Upsala, and Professor Harald Hjarne, the well-known historian, a layman and member of the Swedish Academy. [Six of the bishops unable to attend sent telegrams of greeting, to which our Chairman made suitable replies.]

Your Grace's letter to the Archbishop of Upsala was read and cordially welcomed. The following were the subjects discussed:--


The Bishop of Winchester opened the proceedings on our part by suggesting that the subject for the day's discussion should be the episcopal succession in both countries and the validity of the orders of the two Churches.

The Bishop of Kalmar wished at this stage to ask what was the ultimate aim of the conference. He presumed that it might be held to be full and permanent inter-communion necessitate premente. He held that there was no difficulty as to the first three articles of the Lambeth "quadrilateral" (Resolution XI of 1888). The fourth ("the Historic Episcopate") would be a question for discussion. He desired that inter-communion should eventually be regarded not merely as a matter of comity, but as a right that might be claimed.

The Bishop of Winchester gave a general assent on our part as to the ultimate aim of the conference, and we then proceeded to discuss the question of episcopal succession.

Dr. Lundström presented a report on the Swedish episcopate, in which he dealt with its nature and character as shown in historical documents, and called attention to some debateable points. We have endeavoured to summarize in Appendix II. the information given by him under both these heads, together with material which we have ourselves collected.

Dr. Lundström is evidently in full possession of all the available historical information as to the links in the succession of bishops in Sweden, and we were much impressed both by his knowledge and by his candour. He evidently wished to state all the objections that might be raised. His attitude and that of the other members of the conference showed unmistakably that the Swedish theologians regard the matter as one of great historical importance.

A statement of the doctrine of the Swedish Church as to Church organization generally will be found in our account of the proceedings of the second day of the Conference (Section 7, pp. 17-19).

The rest of the session of the first day was occupied in the discussion of objections raised to the validity of Anglican Orders. The questions raised concerned the consecration of Bishop Barlow and Archbishop Parker, and the intention of the Anglican Church as judged by its forms of ordination. The Bishop of Salisbury stated our position as simply as possible in the terms of the reply of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Bull of Leo XIII. (1896--1897).

Finally, we were asked to explain: (1) The Royal Declaration prefixed to the Thirty-nine Articles; (2) Bishop Barlow's opinion as to the power of the King in making bishops; and the form used in his own consecration; (3) how far canonical election of bishops is a reality among us; (4) what is the history of the title Supreme Head or Governor of the Church?

The answer on our part to these questions was reserved till the following day, when it was given in writing.


The following answers were given to the questions asked on the previous day:--

As to (i) we replied that the assent to the Thirty-nine Articles required of those who subscribe to them does not extend to the declaration prefixed to them, which has only the authority of the Sovereign in whose name it was issued.

As to (2) we replied (a) that Barlow's personal opinion was not a matter of importance; (b) that the words attributed to him imply that he considered himself to be a true bishop; (c) that he is known to have signed a document at a later date which described the effects of the "sacrament of order" in a perfectly orthodox manner as being "to make a man a fit minister"; (d) as regards Barlow's consecration, it was undoubtedly with the old rite, being in 1536, in the reign of Henry VIII., when no change had been made in the pontifical.

(3) With regard to the third question as to the method of appointment of bishops in the Anglican Communion, we drew a distinction between the method existing in the Church of England (proper) and in other parts of the Communion. We pointed out that although the method of election outside England was theoretically better, it had distinct practical disadvantages; that the method prevailing in England was very ancient, having practically come down to us from the time of Henry I.; that the appointment by letters patent in the case of newly-founded sees, where no chapter exists, is less satisfactory. In all cases, however, there are two safeguards: First, the willingness of the archbishop to conduct the consecration; and, secondly, the necessity of finding at least two other bishops to join him in the act. No instance of consecration by one bishop alone is known in English history, unless, perhaps, in the first consecrations performed by S. Augustine. The appointment is not of that of the Prime Minister, but of the Sovereign, who is finally responsible.

(4) The claim of Henry VIII. to use the title "Supreme Head in Earth of the Church of England" was an usurpation on his part which gave great offence. As accepted by our Convocation it was tempered by the addition of the words "quantum per legem Christi licet." The Church is not responsible for the action of Parliament in leaving out this limitation in the Supremacy Act of 1534. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth the title "Supreme Head" was dropped, and that of "Supreme Governor" took its place, but only by royal authority. Since that time the dangerous prerogatives of the Crown have been (as in 1688) partly curtailed, and have partly become obsolete. What binds us is the definition of the royal supremacy in Article XXXVII. of our "Articles of Religion."

Other questions as to the consecration of Barlow and Parker were raised and answered.


The next subject taken up was that of the Diaconate and its disuse in Sweden.

On the Swedish side it was stated that, according to the Confessio Augustana, Art. VII., it was not necessary that all Churches should have the same organization. There is, however, a kind of diaconate, which is in process of development. The matter has been before the Kyrkomöte, which applied to the Crown in 1908 for official rules for deacons and deaconesses. Such deacons have been admitted by laying on of hands, but have not been licensed to preach or baptize.

The "candidati" for the ministry also, to some extent, take the place of deacons. They can be licensed to preach.

It was mentioned by Dr. Lundström that it appears from the Chapter Registers of Vesteras in the seventeenth century that Bishop Johannes Rudbeckius (1619--1646) was in the habit of ordaining men deacons first and priests afterwards.

We have since found a passage in Whitelocke's Swedish Ambassy, describing a conversation between himself and Archbishop Lenseus on 7th February, 1653, in which the archbishop asserted that this practice was usual in Sweden at about the time above mentioned. "When one is presented for that calling (of minister) if he is found in learning and abilities fit for it, the bishop doth first ordain him to be a deacon, and in that office he makes trial of his gifts for preaching, and so continues until he be admitted to a benefice, and upon such admission he is made a priest" (Swedish Ambassy, Vol. i., p. 415, ed. 1772). With regard to the restoration of the Diaconate as a "gradus" of ascent to the priesthood, an opinion was expressed that it might not be in strict accord with Art. V. of the Confessio Augustana, which appears to contemplate only one ministry of "teaching the Gospel and ministering the Sacraments." The diaconate is rather regarded as a separate office, occupied with the care of the sick and the poor. We may, however, observe that Art. VII. of the Apologia Confessionis, which is accepted by the Swedish Church as an explanation of the Confessio Augustana, contains the following passage: "Saepe testati sumus nos summa voluntate cupere conservare politiam ecclesiasticam et gradus in ecclesia, factos etiam humana auctoritate. Scimus enim bono et utili consilio a patribus ecclesiasticam disciplinam hoc modo, ut veteres canones describunt, constitutam esse." This applies in the first instance to the episcopate, but obviously it is equally applicable to the diaconate.


We were informed that a form of service for the admission of the young to first communion was introduced into the Handbook in 1811. This service is known popularly and officially by the name of confirmation, though that title only appears in a footnote in the present book. Such a service had previously been in use by episcopal authority in many dioceses.

The present service begins with an examination in the three parts of the Apostles Creed, followed by the Question: "Will you through God's grace show forth this faith in your lives, and so walk worthily of Christ's Gospel in love to God and to your neighbours?" Answer: "Yes."

Then follows: "Will you, therefore, with God's help, with watchfulness and prayer, apply yourselves to God's Word and seek your Saviour in His Holy Supper?" Answer: "Yes." Then follows a short address, and then the Blessing: "May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ give you, according to the riches of His glory, that ye may be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, and be filled with all the fulness of God! Amen." After this follows the Lord's Prayer, the priest kneeling towards the children. Then the priest stands up and says a striking and appropriate prayer, with the congregation, for the children, that God may perfect the good work He has begun in them. "They are weak: strengthen them with Thy power. They must walk through a dangerous world: protect them with Thy might. Temptations must meet them; strengthen them to fight and to conquer. Give them the grace of Thy Holy Spirit for a blessed partaking of Thy Holy Supper. Help them in word and life to confess Thy name bravely before the world, at all times to watch and pray, and, together with all Thy faithful, trustfully to await the coming of Thy dear Son, and, finally, with Him, enjoy eternal life. Amen." Then follows a final blessing.

We explained our attitude on this matter first as one of regret that the Apostolic usage of laying on of hands was not at the present day prescribed in Sweden (although it is retained in Denmark), and that the bishops were not brought, as ordinary ministers of the rite, into contact with successive generations of young people as they are amongst ourselves.

The Bishop of Marquette stated that the Augustana Churches in U.S.A. had sometimes used our English form of blessing in Confirmation, and also the act of laying on of hands. [In the Kyrko-Handbok for Augustana-Synoden, Antagen 1895, Rock Island, Illinois, the service is very like the Swedish. It has an extra question:--"Will you also avoid all false teachers, and truly hold you fast to God's Word, according to our Evangelical Lutheran confession of faith?" Laying on of hands is not prescribed but permitted, after the congregational prayer above quoted, to be accompanied with a suitable Bible sentence, e.g., the Apostolic blessing. But there is an English appendix to the Kyrko-Handbok for Sw. Ev.-Luth. Kyrkan i America (Chicago, The Engberg-Holmberg Publishing Co., 1893), which contains a somewhat different form, which seems also to have been freely used at least up till 1894. It may he found on pages 260-3. The questions are somewhat different and simpler, laying on of hands on the head of each one severally is prescribed, and the two following blessings are given as alternatives: "Defend, O Lord, this Thy servant," etc., as in our Prayer Book, or "The Father of mercies, ever multiply unto you His grace and peace, enable you truly and faithfully to keep your vows, defend you in every time of danger, preserve you faithful unto the end, and bring you to rest with all His saints in glory everlasting"; or, as in the preceding order for the baptism of adults, where several blessings are given, pp. 256 foll.] This English form and act of blessing is known to have been used in Sweden itself by Johannes Matthias, Bishop of Strengnas (1643--1664). [See F. N. Ekdahl Om Confirmationen, p. 103: "After that the bishop or his deputy shall let the children kneel down, lay hands upon each and every child, and thereupon say: 'That they may for ever continue and daily increase in Thy Holy Spirit until they come to Thine Everlasting Kingdom. Amen.'"] The Bishop of Marquette added that Swedes sometimes come to him and say that they have been confirmed by a bishop with laying on of hands.

It appeared from further statements and replies that there had been and still is some disposition in the Swedish Church to revise the existing form, and to bring it into closer accordance with that which was adopted by the Swedish Church in 1575, and with that which is in use in Denmark. The Bishop of Kalmar, who spoke with considerable sympathy, thought that it was possible that the benedictory aspect of the present form would be made more explicit both by word and gesture. It was evident, however, that any attempt on our part to press the imposition of hands as a condition of inter-communion would be inopportune. Our opinion is that, if there is no movement as yet in favour of the imposition of hands among the Swedes, it might be awakened by diffusion of information on the history of the subject in their own Church.

We were also informed that it is a common practice for the priest to lay hands on the heads of children when they come to their first communion. The authority to confirm is also (frequently or generally) explicitly given to priests in their letters of orders (prestbref) handed to them at their ordination as part of the ceremony. [Cp. the Bishop of Marquette's The Church of Sweden and the Anglican Communion, pp. 80-1. Milwaukee and London ] (Mowbray and Co.), 1910.]

It is important for our present purpose to observe that in 1837 Bishop Wingard of Göteborg, at the request of Bishop Blomfield, obtained permission from King Karl XIV. to confirm with the Swedish ritual the children of members of the Church of England resident in Sweden. And the royal letter gave the bishop express permission to use in the service "the laying on of hands considered essential in England." We are indebted for this fact to an article by Rev. G. C. Richards in the Church Quarterly Review, Vol. 70, pp. 270-1, for July, 1910, where the letter is given in full, as it is also in H. M. Mason's translation of Anjou's Reformation in Sweden, pp. 641 foll.

In any future discussion of this matter we should call attention to the passage in the Kyrko-ordning of 1571 (fol. 77 b = Kyrko-ordningar före 1686, I., p. 150, 1872), which has apparently been generally overlooked. In it, Archbishop Laurentius Petri rejects the use of oil in confirmation as superstitious, but says that "when a visitation takes place, bishops may have preaching and public prayers in the churches, especially for the young, that God will strengthen them in the articles which were promised in their baptism, and afterwards do what is aforesaid." These last words imply some further action on the part of the bishops. In his little book On Ordinances and Ceremonies, published in the year 1567, fol. 19, Laurentius Petri mentions the practice of laying on of hands upon the baptized as one of those rightly received by the Church, like the canon of Scripture, baptism of infants, and the distinction of orders. In the Kyrko-ordning of 1571, fol. 2g _ pp. 66, 67, he also describes the absolution of children with laying on of hands after their first confession. It is clear, therefore, that the authority of the first great archbishop of the Reformed Church of Sweden is in favour of this practice.

The form introduced by the Nova Ordinantia of 1575 had in it nothing whatever that could be called superstitious, and it continued to be used for a long time afterwards, though it ceased to be compulsory in 1593. It was used word for word by Olof Laurelius, Bishop of Vesteras (1647--1670). Similar forms were used by Johannes Matthias of Strengnas (1643--1664), Jesper Svedberg of Skara (1702--1735), Engelbert Halenius, in the same diocese (1753--1767), Jacob Serenius of Strengnas (1763--1777), Henric Benzelius of Lund (1740--1747) and Upsala (1747--1758). In all these cases we believe that laying on of hands was prescribed, and in most of them that the .minister was to be the bishop at his visitation or his deputy. It was clearly, as in England, considered to be part of the work of visitation.


The Church law of 1686, which is at present in force, opens with the following sentence: "In our kingdom and the lands which are subject to it, all shall individually and collectively confess the Christian doctrine and faith which are founded (grundad) in God's Holy Word, the prophetic and Apostolic Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and set out (författad) in the three chief creeds, the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian, and likewise in the unaltered Augsburg Confession of the year 1530, accepted in the Council of Upsala (Upsala Concilio) in 1593, and explained (förklarad) in the whole so-called Book of Concord; and all who in the teaching profession enter any office in churches, academies, or schools, must, at their appointment, bind themselves to that doctrine and confession of faith."

We inquired on whom these standards are binding, and whether any latitude was allowed in the interpretation of them. We were informed that they are generally considered to be formally binding on the clergy only. The question in the ordination of priests now is: "Will you, according to your best understanding and conscience, purely and clearly preach God's Word as it is given to us in Holy Scripture and as our Church's confessional books witness concerning the same?" It was explained that the words "according to your best understanding and conscience" were introduced in 1904 by way of expressing more clearly the evangelical conception of adherence to the Symbola of the Church.

We were also informed that the primary standard was the "Confessio Invariata," and that the other parts of the Book of Concord were considered as having only a secondary and explanatory force. Emphasis was laid on the distinction between "grundad," "författad" and "förklarad" in the section of the Church law just quoted.


The question was asked whether, in view of Art. X., De Coena Domini, of the "Confessio Invariata," any objection would be felt to the words of distribution in our English liturgy, which, though in harmony with the terms of Art. X., are held by some to admit of more than one interpretation? [The article is as follows: "De Coena Domini decent, quod Corpus et Sanguis Christi vere adsint et distribuantur vescentibus in coena Domini, et improbant secus docentes."] It was replied that this comprehensiveness of the English liturgy might be regarded in many quarters, though not universally, as an advantage rather than otherwise.

On being asked what in their opinion constituted the consecration of the elements, the Bishop of Kalmar replied: "The words of institution. The priest at that point of the service turns to the altar, implying that the words are not to be regarded as a lection to the people, but as addressed to God." He said that the Lutheran doctrine was that the presence of Christ with the sacrament takes effect in the distribution and sumption of the sacrament.


It was ascertained that there is full inter-communion between the Church of Sweden and other Churches which accept the Confessio Augustana, including admission to Holy Communion and interchange of pulpits. There is however, no actual case of a clergyman ordained elsewhere holding a benefice in Sweden. The Church Law, Chapter XIX., § i, is as follows: "No one may enter upon the priesthood who is not regularly and lawfully called and chosen, and, by his bishop, found suitable, approved, and ordained." The practice seems to be to allow a man ordained by royal permission, or in the Augustana Synod in U.S.A., to be a corn-minister or a chaplain, but not a kyrko-herde or incumbent.

At this point the following statement was put forward by the Swedish members of the Conference as representing the teaching of the Church of Sweden with regard to ecclesiastical organization.


"We would try to concentrate the doctrine of our Church, as to the holy ministry and the constitution of the Church of Christ, in the following six paragraphs:--

"(I) The seventh article of the Confessio Augustana, after having indicated as the two attributes constitutive of a Christian Church 'evangelium recte docetur et recte administrantur sacramenta,' expressly adds: 'Nec necesse est ubique esse similes traditiones humanas, seu ritus aut ceremonias ab hominibus institutas' (Cp. Articles of Religion XXXIV.: It is not necessary that traditions and ceremonies be in all places one or utterly like, etc.). It is necessarily required that there should be an organization. The quod is necessary, but not the quomodo.

"(2) Differences in the liturgical arrangements, in the constitution of the Church, episcopal or presbyterian, etc., and in the organization of the holy ministry, need not ruin 'veram unitatem ecclesiae';

"(3) No particular organization of the Church and of its ministry is instituted jure divino, not even the order and discipline and state of things recorded in the New Testament, because the Holy Scriptures, the norma normans of the faith of the Church, are no law, but vindicate for the New Covenant the great principle of Christian freedom, unweariedly asserted by St. Paul against every form of legal religion, and applied with fresh strength and clearness by Luther, but instituted by our Saviour Himself, as for instance when, in taking farewell of His disciples, He did not regulate their future work by a priori rules and institutions, but directed them to the guidance of the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost.

"(4) The object of any organization and of the whole ministry being included in the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments--according to the fifth article of the Augustana, God has instituted 'ministerium docendi evangelii et porrigendi sacramenta'--our Church cannot recognize any essential difference, de jure divino, of aim and authority between the two or three orders into which the ministry of grace may have been divided, jure humano, for the benefit and convenience of the Church.

"(5) The value of every organization of the 'ministerium ecclesiasticum,' and of the Church in general, is only to be judged by its fitness and ability to become a pure vessel for the supernatural contents, and a perfect channel for the way of Divine Revelation unto mankind.

"(6) That doctrine in no wise makes our Church indifferent to the organization and the forms of ministry which the cravings and experiences of the Christian community have produced under the guidance of the Spirit in the course of history. We do not only regard the peculiar forms and traditions of our Church with the reverence due to a venerable legacy from the past, but we realize in them a blessing from the God of history accorded to us."

In illustration of the preceding statement we may quote a passage from the Kyrko-handbok of Archbishop Laurentius Petri Nericius, published in 1571, and officially adopted in 1572, and again by the Upsala Möte of 1593, on the office of a bishop:--"Since this ordinance was very useful and without doubt proceeded from God the Holy Ghost (who gives all good gifts), so it was generally approved and accepted over the whole of Christendom, and has since so remained, and must remain in the future, so long as this world lasts, although the abuse, which has been very great in this as in all other useful and necessary things, must be set aside." ... "So now must a bishop have oversight over all that are under his government, especially the clergy, that they may rightly and duly set forth God's Word among the common men, rightly administer the Sacraments, preach and hear the catechism at the proper season, hear confession when it is proper, exhort and bring the people to common prayers, visit and console the sick, bury the dead, and faithfully and diligently perform all else that the ministry of the Church and the priestly office justly demands." ... "It belongs also to the bishop's office that he, in his diocese, shall ordain and govern with priests, and whatsoever else is required, as S. Paul writes to his disciple Titus, whom he had sent as such an overseer to Crete: 'For this cause (says he) left I thee in Crete, that thou mightest provide for what is lacking, and occupy the cities there with priests, etc.' And for these reasons a bishop was called ordinarius or ordinator, which means in Swedish a sender or ordainer. Regarding this matter of taking order with priests, S. Pan) writes to Timothy: 'Lay hands suddenly on no man'" (K. O. of 1571, fols. 75 and 76).

This will explain what the Swedish theologians mean by jure humano, i.e., something which is not directly ordered by our Lord, but prescribed by the Church, in accordance with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It will show also what is the intention of their Church not only as to the office of bishop, but also as to that of priest.



The Bishop of Salisbury drew the attention of the Conference to the subject of the forms of ordination of priests and consecration of bishops used by the Church of Sweden as one on which it was necessary to have more exact information. It was agreed that he and Professor Quensel should sit together after the conference was over and go into the subject. It has also been treated at some length by one of our number, the Bishop of Marquette, in his Church of Sweden and the Anglican Communion, 1910. Their joint conclusions will be found below in Appendix III.


Information was given on both sides as to the condition of the very large number of Swedes in the U.S.A., estimated at about 1,500,000. These are divided into many different religious organizations, of which the most important, by far, is the Augustana Synod, which is looked upon as the daughter Church of the Church of Sweden. The first meeting of this body took place in Chicago, June 5th, 1860. It numbers now more than a quarter of a million adherents. The organization comprises eight districts, superintended by presidents appointed for a term of years. Though closely connected by feeling and history with the Mother Church, which commends emigrants to it, the Augustana Synod is wholly independent, and its future must lie in its own hands. It is obvious that the relations between this body and the Anglican Communion must be worked out chiefly in the U.S., and we make no suggestions with regard to it.


At our request the Archbishop of Upsala consented to appoint a small committee to act with him for the purpose of continuing, if necessary, the discussions initiated at the Conference. The names of the representatives, as supplied by the Archbishop, in December, 1909, were as follows:--

Archbishop of Upsala (Dr. J. A. Ekman).
Bishop of Linköping (Dr. Otto Ahnfelt).
Bishop of Kalmar (Dr. H. W. Tottie).
Dean of Upsala (Dr. A. H. Lundström).
Professor Dr. N. Söderblom.

The lamented death of Bishop Ahnfelt having left a vacancy, his place has been filled by the appointment of the Bishop of Lund (Dr. Gottfrid Billing).


Your Grace will perceive that the matters which we have considered are of great importance, and some complexity, inasmuch as they involve not only our relations with the National Church of Sweden, but may, through them, bring us into relations with other bodies holding the same confession.

In approaching the main question committed to our consideration, it seems to us right to put forward the paramount duty of holding communion with all other Christians wherever it is possible and not clearly wrong to do so. Here we have an opportunity for such communion with a Church which is the most like our own in history and organization of any in Europe. It is also a Church which has been connected with our own by a number of instances of intimate fellowship in the past. This fellowship was particularly manifested in the relations between the Churches in the time of Bishop Henry Compton, of London (1675--1713), and Bishop Jesper Svedberg, of Skara (1702--1735). The latter had the oversight both of the Swedish congregation in London and of those on the Delaware River in U.S.A. Interchange of ministries in the latter region were frequent, and the two Churches treated one another as sister Churches. We have already referred to the action of Bishop Blomfield, of London, in 1837. Even closer relations were established between Bishop H. J. Whitehouse, of Illinois (1851--1875) and Archbishop Reuterdahl, of Upsala (1856--1870), which included the acceptance of a clergyman in Swedish orders (Mr. Jakob Bredberg) to a Rectory at Chicago. This step was taken by Bishop Whitehouse after consultation with his brother bishops, and it was ratified by his successor, Bishop W. E. McLaren. Permission to preach has also been given from time to time to other Swedish clergy in U.S.A., e.g., to Professor Mellin, of the General Seminary, New York.

A general idea of the great interest attaching to the history of the Church of Sweden, and of its likeness to our own, and of the valuable services which it has rendered and may render to Christendom, may be gathered from Chancellor Bernard's sketch contained in Appendix I.

With regard to the matters more specially treated in Appendices II. and III., we are convinced by the evidence which has been before us:

(I) That the succession of bishops has been maintained unbroken by the Church of Sweden, and that it has a true conception of the episcopal office, though it does not as a whole consider the office to be so important as most English Churchmen do;

(2) That the office of priest is also rightly conceived as a divinely instituted instrument for the ministry of the Word and Sacraments, and that it has been in intention handed on throughout the whole history of the Church of Sweden. The change in language introduced in 1811, which continued in use until 1894, does not appear to us to have vitiated the intention, when regard is paid to other documents which remained in authority and throughout testified to that intention. For example, this intention is manifested in the Augustana Confessio, Articles V. and VII., and elsewhere, both in the Prayer Book itself and in the Church Law.

We are, therefore, agreed to recommend that a resolution should be proposed, either to the next Lambeth Conference or to a meeting of the English bishops, similar to that which was adopted by the Lambeth Conference of 1888 in reference to the Old Catholics of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, under which members of the National Church of Sweden, otherwise qualified to receive the Sacrament in their own Church, might be admitted to Holy Communion in ours.

As regards facilities for the use of churches for marriages, burials and the like, where Swedish churches are not available, we believe that concession on this head is within the competence of any diocesan bishop, and we trust that such facilities may be generally granted. We also believe that permission might with advantage occasionally be given to Swedish ecclesiastics to give addresses in our churches. We believe that such permission would be valued.

Further, we suggest that notice should be sent to the Archbishop of Upsala of important events or appointments within the Church of England, and that we should welcome similar information on his part.

Your Grace will observe that our recommendation is limited in its scope. We do not think it part of our duty to suggest what action the Swedish Church should be expected to take in response to it. If what we propose is adopted by the authorities of the Church of England it will be sufficient practical expression at this moment of our own good will. We trust, however, that the step which we propose may lead on to fuller and more constant intercourse between ourselves and our Swedish brethren. We trust that it may eventually, if God will, lead to intercommunion in that fuller sense defined by the Bishop of Kalmar at the opening of our conference.

G. MOTT WILLIAMS, Bishop of Marquette,

Feast of the Conversion of S. Paul. 25th January, 1911.

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