WNS Newsletter December 2018

Dear members of Welsh Norwegian Society and friends.

Christmas is upon us once again and 2018 is coming to an end. The committee wishes all members and friends of WNS a happy and peaceful Christmas, and a fantastic New Year!

WNS Christmas party / Juletrefest

December 9th 2018

Members of the Welsh Norwegian Society gathered at the Norwegian Church Arts Centre in Cardiff Bay to celebrate Christmas with a traditional party. Old and young were at the venue to sample more than seven sorts of traditional Norwegian Christmas cakes, join in the singing and dancing around the Christmas tree and meet Father Christmas, who brought presents for the children.  More than 50 people attended the event, which also saw some members telling stories from their Norwegian Christmas experiences. Six exchange students from Hordaland county in Norway, which is twinned with Cardiff, also attended the event. 

The 2018 Juletrefest was a great success. Here is a short video of the festivities.

The Christmas party, or Juletrefest, is a key element of Christmas celebrations in Norway, usually organised by workplaces and community groups for everyone to attend. Tyra Oseng-Rees, chairman of the Welsh Norwegian Society, said: “An important part of the Society’s work is to ensure future generations understand and appreciate the Norwegian culture and strong historic links that Wales and Norway have. And there is no better place to do this than in the historic building of the Norwegian Church in Cardiff, which is an arts and cultural centre. Christmas is very important and special in Norway and being able to bring some of that magic to Wales is truly amazing.” 

The Welsh Norwegian Society has bought and decorated the 3-metre tall tree at the Norwegian Church Arts Centre this year after discovering the Church would otherwise not have a tree. Tyra Oseng-Rees, chairman of the Welsh Norwegian Society, said: “The links between the Society and the Church are historically strong and we wanted to ensure the Norwegian traditions were maintained so the tree is decorated in a traditional Norwegian way, including Norwegian flags and clip-on candle style lights. We also organise a Midsummer party every year and celebrate the Constitution Day on 17th May and with the ‘dugnadsånd’ we rely on volunteers helping and supporting the growing society, so there is plenty of opportunity to get involved.”

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Future dates for your diaries

The dates of WNS events are below. All are held at the Norwegian Church Arts Centre, unless otherwise specified.

  • Sunday 20th January 2019 2-4pm: Coffee and cake

  • Sunday 24th Feb 2019 2-4pm: Coffee and cake

  • Sunday 10Th March 2-4pm: Coffee and cake

  • Wednesday evening 24th April 2019 7pm onwards: Social evening, details TBC

  • Sunday 28th April 2019 2-4pm (cancelled if 24th April goes ahead): Coffee and cake

  • Friday 17th May 2019 (all day): Syttende mai

  • Saturday 22nd June: St Hans fest, venue TBC.

  • Sunday 28th July 2019 2-4pm: Coffee and cake, may be cancelled as it’s in the school holiday.

  • Sunday 22nd September: Time TBC, choir from Norway to perform. Possible date for AGM.

  • Sunday 20th October 2019, 2-4pm: Coffee and cake

  • Sunday 17th November 2019 2-4pm: Christmas tree decoration

  • Sunday 15th December 2019: Time TBC, WNS Christmas party

  • Monday 16th December 2019 (daytime): The Norwegian Church’s official 150th anniversary with officials and media invited.


The future of the Norwegian Church

There has been a fair amount of press coverage recently suggestion that the future of the Norwegian Church is uncertain. Members may want to have a look at the below articles, which give a good background to the Church and the challenges it might be facing going forward.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-46125578
 
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/nostalgia/long-history-cardiffs-norwegian-church-15490109
 
https://glamarchives.wordpress.com/tag/norwegian-church/

What kind of involvement, if any, would the members like to see WNS have in the debate on the future of the church? It is important that we seek the views of the membership if we as a society intend to publicly get involved in this debate. Please email your thoughts, suggestions and comments to contact@welshnorwegian.org, and indicate whether you would be able and willing to be involved in working on this matter.