(Above) Inside the Danish Church in Luxembourg's new premises in Medingen; (below) Pastor Marie Ørgaard; Credit: Danish Church in Luxembourg

Chronicle.lu recently had the opportunity to speak with Pastor Marie Ørgaard about the Danish Church in Luxembourg, its history, its mission and the opening of its new premises in Medingen (municipality of Contern) in southern Luxembourg.

The inauguration of the new church premises, and the opening of a new cultural centre, took place on 19 June 2022, in the presence of board members and the Danish Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and Vatican State, Odd Sinding, among others. However, as Pastor Marie Ørgaard explains in this interview, the history of the Danish Church in Luxembourg spans more than four decades.

Chronicle.lu: Please tell us about the history of the Danish Church in Luxembourg.

Pastor Marie Ørgaard: Apart from visiting services in 1974-76, there has been organised Danish church life in Luxembourg since 1977. In the first years, the church had the same pastor as Brussels, but each had its own church council. Via the church council, the church in Luxembourg had the right to participate in the selection of the common priest, who held a service here one Sunday a month in addition to confirmations, weddings and memorial services. Baptism was part of the service. From 1979, the church also had its own church choir led by the organist.

There was a complete structure when the Danish Church in Luxembourg decided at the general assembly on 29 June 1993 to have its own priest. Since then, many good people have continued to get involved in the church council and other voluntary work at the church.

Chronicle.lu What is the Church's main mission?

Pastor Marie Ørgaard: The Danish Church in Luxembourg is a wide community that conveys Danish culture based on Christian life values. In addition to church activities and services of various kinds, the church therefore also organises concerts, singing evenings, lectures, an annual summer party and a Christmas bazaar, so that Danes in Luxembourg have a common meeting place.

The priest is also available for conversations and has a duty of confidentiality.

Chronicle.lu: What inspired the move to your new premises in Medingen and the opening of a cultural centre? What do you hope to achieve in the
future with these new facilities?

Pastor Marie Ørgaard: Over time, changing church councils have tried the same thing, but have encountered major challenges along the way. We sensed that the time had come to try again. Our main mission can only really be brought to life if we have a place that is our own, if we have a place where we can concretely meet and be the wide community that we think a Danish church abroad should be. We are very happy about the new facilities and the possibilities they give us. We have been treated well during this process by the Catholic Church in Luxembourg and are very thankful.

Chronicle.lu: Please tell us more about the Danish Church's activities in Luxembourg, for instance its annual bazaar.

Pastor Marie Ørgaard: The Danish Church in Luxembourg is a small church with only the pastor as an employee. The church is primarily member-driven and -financed. So, we need to earn money during the year. We receive donations and we also have some private sponsors. But we need the Christmas bazaar to earn money.

At the same time, the Christmas bazaar is a meeting place for the many volunteers who help in the stalls and have been producing Christmas decorations for months. At the Christmas bazaar, you really feel Christmas is coming and meet other Danes. You can taste traditional Danish food and pastries and the Danish form of Glühwein [mulled wine] called "gløgg". Everyone is welcome - also non-Danes. This year, we are having our bazaar in Medingen. I'm looking forward to it. It is the 19 November. So, stop by and feel the Danish "hygge".