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Bishop backs "circus tent service"

Published fredag 15 mars 2013 kl 16.00
"I've always loved the circus"
1:27 min
The service will be held in a circus tent - camels not guaranteed. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/ Scanpix

Bishops in the the southern Swedish city of Växjö are trying a new way to get more people to come to church, by moving one of their church services to a circus.

On the 13th of April, Bishop Jan Olof Johansson will be holding a service in a circus tent complete with clowns and circus horses, in the southern town of Växjö, in the county of Småland. He says he's always loved the circus, that there is an atmosphere inside the circus tent that tells you something about what it is like to be human. 

The bishop points out that the approach is common abroad, with similar services being held in neighbouring Finland, plus Germany, Italy and Austria.

The service is a co-operation between the circus and the Lutheran Church of Sweden, and although the final details have to be worked out, Bishop Johansson is hoping for plenty of animals, and for other circus elements that would fit in to the religious theme. 

He says he understands people who think he is treading a fine line by doing this. And he adds that this isn't the first time it's happened here, with Sweden's last circus service taking place in 1934.

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