Pether Ström Broman, kyrkoherde at the Swedish Church in Manhattan is no newcomer to the Swedish Church Abroad. The kyrkoherde (vicar) has worked in Denmark, Greece, Spain and a previous time in New York City prior to arriving at his present 5-year post in March 2015.

His roots are in the province of Östergötland where he grew up in a rather typical Swedish family in Linköping—spending more Sundays working at the summer house than at church. His interest in religion and theology grew through Communion in his early teens and deepened during a year as an exchange student in Hickory, NC where religious education and Sunday mass were part of the weekly schedule. Ordained in 1982, Ström Broman spent a long time as a priest in the archipelago of Östergötland that borders Småland and sees some parallels to his work in New York: “The big difference between my earlier congregation, St Olofs in Norrköping, where I had 60 coworkers, is size — and the fact that we have so many temporary visitors in New York. The number of weddings speaks for itself; so far, 100 this year between myself and fellow Swedish priest Joachim Franzen.” Other than that, this church, which employs seven, has the same kinds of activities as any church in Sweden, with children’s groups, a choir and serving as a meeting place for young and old, whether permanently or temporarily in New York.

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Ström Broman himself is also often on the move, working with visiting ships or going to Philadelphia, Delaware or Washington, DC to visit congregations or seamen in the Swedish mercantile fleet. Life in New York City is different from anywhere else, he says, on his way to leave for Washington. “We have our house and roots still in Östergötland, in a small village just north of Norrköping called Getå, and as every expat can attest, returning “home” in the summer becomes an eye opener after spending a longer time in the capital of the world.”

For more information on the Swedish church in Manhattan, see www.swedishchurch.se/newyork