The Norwegian Church has a large book of regulations covering many things, including the colour of clergy shoes. However, today it was found wanting, leaving us to improvise.

This morning I played for an ‘utegudstjeneste’ (outdoor service) in Gibostad park as part of Gibostadmartna (outdoor market weekend). Thankfully the weather was lovely – blue sky, sunny and only a hint of chill in the wind. The first of our ‘improvisations’ came when we set up our ‘sandwich board’ directing people to the service and realised the direction arrow was facing the wrong way. No problem we thought – we had made posters with arrows facing in both directions for exactly this eventuality – until we found out that despite thinking we had printed both versions, all the arrows faced the same (wrong) way. OK, we’ll just draw it on – but then no pen could be found. So a little ‘artistic’ tearing was the solution.

The next slightly more embarrassing problem came during the service. Ordinarily the takkoffer (money offering / collection) is achieved by those that want to give walking around the communion table and putting their gift in a basket on the table. However, we had no communion table. No problem, we’ll pass a basket round (except their was no basket available, although with hind sight we could perhaps have loaned / purchased one from the inevitable basket stalls). In the end the solution came in the form of a baseball cap, loaned by a visiting worshiper. Crisis averted.

We are considering writing to the Kirkeråd (the national church council) to suggest our innovations be included in the next edition of their rule book. On the other hand, we had one of their number in attendance, so perhaps they will beat us to it . . .


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