I follow the decommissioning of Sweden’s churches keenly for several reasons. I like churches, the older the better, but I don’t like the Church much. And I take great interest in the West’s ongoing secularisation process. Before, I’ve blogged about how Maglarp Church was torn down, about how Örja church was sold as housing and about the National Heritage Board’s advice to congregations that decide to stop heating their churches.
Two upscale 1890s dissenter churches in the posh Östermalm precinct of Stockholm have been similarly de-sanctified in the past year.
A year ago, a real estate company co-owned by footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic bough the 1898 Elim Church next to the Swedish History Museum, where I spend a lot of time. Elim was a Baptist church and is now being converted into luxury housing.
Now I hear that the Trinity Church near Östermalmstorg Square, a beautiful neo-Gothic brick structure inaugurated in 1894, has been sold. It’s been a Methodist church, and that particular sect isn’t doing so well in Sweden. The buyer is internationally famous Grammy-winning music video director Jonas Åkerlund, who intends to use the building for unspecified cultural purposes.
The latter case is kind of funny. 30 years ago, Jonas Åkerlund played drums with the seminal Satanist black metal band Bathory. His most recent music videos, however, have been for Coldplay, Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
Thanks to Johan Lundström för the tipoff.
Update same day: Aard regular Thomas Ivarsson points out that the 1880 Caroli Church in urban Malmö, not far from Maglarp and Örja, was de-sanctified by the Church of Sweden in 2010 and is now part of a shopping mall.