Say what? The trend in Sweden with drop-in baptisms is spreading. The last city to hook into it is Örebro. The hope is that drop-ins will make more parents baptize their babies in the first place. During the 1970’s around 80% of all Swedish-born children were baptized in the Swedish Church, while two years ago, in 2010, the number was down to a record low 53.7%.

Since the baptism also means membership in the Swedish Church this means that the decreasing number of baptisms, along with a general exodus, the number of members in the Swedish Church is continuously falling. Last year, two churches in Västerås were first to come up with the idea of making it simpler to get baptized by offering people drop-in baptisms and soon there were churches following in their steps all over the country. The latest to join is the Nicolai parish in Örebro.

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Västerås diocese is happy.
“Both drop-in baptisms and drop-in weddings will expand. There’s a need to gain access to all of the church’s services, but one doesn’t always want all the trimmings that come with these services,” says the press secretary of the diocese Pelle Söderbäck and points to the big parties, the dinners, the many guests, and the expensive clothes. You forgo this at a drop-in. A pastor, a musician and singers are already at the church. For the person interested in baptizing his child, or himself, it’s as simple as getting dressed and going there.