Swedish Church Visit, Edinburgh & Inverness, 3-5 March

The Swedish Church has let the Scottish Swedish Society have the details of a visit to Scotland from 3 to 5 March. The events in Edinburgh will take place on 3 and 4 March, followed by a programme in Inverness on 5 March.

Here are the details as they told us:

Nu kommer snart Svenska kyrkan på besök till Edinburgh och den här gången även till Inverness!

Till Edinburgh kommer präst Fabian Åström, diakon Kerstin Garplid och husmor Stina Envall. Stina och Kerstin kommer sedan fortsätta norrut för att möta er i Inverness.

3 mars kl. 12.30 – Edinburgh
Gudstjänst kl. 12.30 i Greenside Parish Church (1b Royal Terrace, EH7 5AB). Därefter samlas vi för lunch på Joseph Pearce’s bar (23 Elm Row, EH7 4AA).
Tack vare ett generöst församlingsbidrag från Swedish Benevolent Trust kan Svenska kyrkan bjuda på lunchen. För att veta hur många vi blir på lunchen vill vi att du anmäler dig till deaconkerstin@swedishchurch.com eller ringer 07860 547 271 senast 24 februari 2022. Meddela också om du är vegetarian eller behöver specialkost.

4 mars kl. 15.00 – Edinburgh
Det blir familjeträff i Edinburgh också och vi ses på Out of the blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh EH6 8RG. Vi har reserverat ett rum för barnen där de kan rita, läsa och leka och det finns även ett kafé där vi får fika. Meddela gärna om ni kommer, så vi vet hur mycket fika vi ska beställa.

5 mars ca kl. 11.30 – Inverness
Det ska bli så roligt att träffa er av alla åldrar som bor i Inverness med omnejd. Vi undersöker fortfarande kyrkor och restauranger för vår träff, så hör gärna av er med tips.


Consulate moving offices The consulate office will move in January to a new location. Mike will send an announcement out with details. The email and phone number will be the same.

The consulate had to adjust due to COVID situation but decided in June to at least hand out passports and get that rolling with what they can. Mike has been working closely with the embassy to try and get things done properly.

Swedish passport applications, why can’t we get the applications put through in Edinburgh? This is mainly due to the bio-metrics technology. We don’t have the facilities to do it in Edinburgh. The question came up in the meeting with the embassy today, they are looking for a solution but this isn’t expected next year, possibly the year after.

The Embassy is planning to further discuss this in spring when they can meet again to look into what can be done long term.

If you aren’t able to get to London you will need to let your passport lapse.

How do I book a passport application slot? You have to do it online, they have quite a lot of slots at the moment and will also open up on Saturday’s for more times to be available.

If you are older, 75+and find the technology difficult then it’s possible to email Mike and he can help book an appointment.

Application slots are released on Fridays 9-12 am.

What is Mike’s geographical coverage? Scotland is divided between Glasgow and Edinburgh and Mike covers the East side and Orkney. Shetland has it’s own council. Consulates help each other though so this isn’t a hard line.

Emergency passports is an element that Mike can’t do at the moment so anybody who needs this will need to do it in Glasgow with David Hunter. Mike will start doing emergency passports again in February or March.

You are able to get back to Sweden with an emergency passport if your usual passport runs out.

Do all consoles provide the same service? Yes more or less, everyone is able to provide the general council services as an extra arm to the Embassy. tasks include emergency passports, looking after Swedish citizens in Scotland.

The levnadsintyg is for pensions, for people who have worked in Sweden and need to provide they are still alive and need to get their pensions paid out. Mike, and occasionally the Swedish church, annually signs a declaration confirming they are alive.

Mike can also act as a civil servant for anybody who doesn’t want to get married in church and registration of children for samordningsnummer.

Is Mike aware of who the Swedish living in Scotland are, is there a register to keep track of people who might need assistance with renewing passports? At the moment with the Brexit settlement status there are about 50,000 people registered but they think there are about 20,000 more who aren’t registered.

The problem is that people who have both passports don’t need to register, the same with students who are still registered in Sweden or people who moved here a long time ago and who have other settlement documentations. So it’s hard to know exact numbers.

They have to do citizen investigation to find this detail, if they have a name and a personal number of a person Mike can contact the Embassy to see what details they have, then they do an investigation to see who their relatives are and what they need to do to renew their passport.

Settled Status – The settled status is very important, there are a lot of elderly who haven’t reached out and think they might automatically have this as they have been here for long. It is important to make contact with Mike if you aren’t 100% certain you have settlement status.

The settled status is linked with your passport so if you get a new passport you need to register it with the British home office and they will update your records. You will have to send the new passport in to them as proof of new details

The last date by when the settlement status needs to be confirmed is 30th June 2021.

Another option has been mentioned that it’s possible to apply for settlement status through the Windrush scheme – you will need to have arrived before 1988. For further details https://www.gov.uk/windrush-prove-your-right-to-be-in-the-uk

Brexit, in short term will it have a big effect on us living in Scotland? Nobody knows, even on ambassador level. For us as citizens living here the settlement status is most important for us in our daily life. It might also be more expensive going back to Sweden and businesses might notice more changes but as private citizens the settlement status is the most important thing.

Very important to do this before the deadline expires as it might be more difficult to sort out then.

Samordningsnummer, what is the process for arranging this? – There is an online booking system in place currently. The biggest issue has been the discharge letters from hospitals that had to be resubmitted as it isn’t in the red book you leave with but an additional paper that details who the parents are.

Health insurance, what will happen when we cant use our blue cards post Brexit? Mike will ask the embassy to confirm what they recommend.

In the Brexit section on the Scottish Swedish Society’s website there is a long cover of travel in case of a no-deal Brexit. The cards stop applying at the end of the year so it was recommended to take out travel insurance. The papers on the website also outline other minor complications such as pet passports, driving licenses etc.

So worth having a look on the website again.

Roaming charges – these will also not be covered post Brexit as the UK won’t be part of the Union however three, o2, EE and Vodafone have said they will keep roaming policies after Brexit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-your-mobile-in-eu-and-eea-countries-after-the-uk-leaves-the-eu

How does Mike feel about being consul – looks forward to setting up a Swedish cultural hub and also further building on the business relationships directly between Sweden and Scotland as they are all currently managed through London. There are a lot of relationships already there but there isn’t an existing hub so Mike looks forward to pushing this next year.


Contact details

Telefon 0131 605 0109

E-post edinburgh@swedishconsulate.eu


15 Old Fishmarket Close



Open hours for phone bookings: Tuesdays 9-14 and Thursdays 9-14.


Join the Scottish Swedish Society committee! info@scottishswedish.org


Swedish Conversation Group

Back in January we told members about the formation of a Swedish Conversation group to meet on a weekday evening at an Edinburgh cafe or pub.  This proved very successful, but unfortunately had to suspend its operations following the lockdown.

It is now re-starting with video meetings.  The first of these will take place on Tuesday 23 June at 20:00.  If you would like to join, please use this link to email angus.mccarter


Church Visit to Edinburgh, 20 and 21 February 2020

Here are the details of the Church visit to Edinburgh in February:

Hej, nu kommer snart Svenska kyrkan på besök till Edinburgh!

Vi som kommer den här gången är kyrkoherde Katarina Bäckelin, diakoniassistent Kerstin Garplid samt våra ungdomsvolontärer Isak och Carolina. Vi ser fram emot att välkomnas och möta alla som vill vara med och dela gemenskapen!

20 februari 2020 klockan 12.30
Gudstjänst kl. 12.30 i Greenside Parish Church (1b Royal Terrace, EH7 5AB). Därefter samlas vi för lunch på Joseph Pearce’s bar (23 Elm Row, EH7 4AA).
Svenska kyrkan bjuder på lunchen. För att veta hur många vi blir på lunchen vill vi gärna att du anmäler dig till
laydeaconkerstin@swedishchurch.com eller ringer 020 7723 5681 senast 13 februari 2020. Meddela också om du är vegetarian eller behöver specialkost.

21 februari 2020 klockan 15.00
Vi bjuder på fika på Hemma (Tunbuilding, 73 Holyrood, EH8 8AU). Fika och svensk film för barnen samt en chans att prata svenska, byta böcker m.m. Alla är hjärtligt välkomna!

Om du känner någon som vill komma men inte fått inbjudan, sprid gärna detta vidare!

Varma hälsningar,

Kerstin Garplid

Would you like to brush up your Swedish?

An English-speaking member who is wanting to improve his Swedish has suggested that it would be useful to set up a Swedish conversation group. The idea would be to meet on a regular basis for a general and informal chat in Swedish, perhaps with one or more fluent Swedish speakers to help people along where needed.
Quite a number of our existing regular activities take place during normal working hours, but the idea here is to find a time that allows people at work to come along.  Perhaps a weekday evening in a pub, for example.  It would take place in Edinburgh.
We undertook to sound out members to judge the level of interest. If you think this could be something for you, please let us know by email to: membership@scottishswedish.org  We will pass on all responses.

Edinburgh Coffee Mornings

The next Edinburgh Coffee Mornings will be as follows.

Tuesday 14 January, 10.30 – 12.00, at Kerstin Grant’s house in Balerno.

Tuesday 4 February, 10.30 – 12.00, at Christina Coltart’s house at Holy Corner, Edinburgh.

Contact the hostess to let her know that you would like to attend.

There is a coffee morning every month.  If you email Kerstin Phillips she will let you know future dates and where the hostess lives.  info@scottishswedish.org

Edinburgh University Conference on Nordic Branding

On 22 and 23 October. the University of Edinburgh is arranging an important conference entitled “Nordic Branding and the Reception of the Nordic Model”.  The closing address on 23 October will be given by Hallgrimur Helgason.

Full details are available in the conference booklet, here:


Everyone is welcome to attend, either the whole conference or just the closing address.  It is free.  Tickets are, however, required and can be obtained by following these links:




Scottish/Swedish Concerts in Glasgow & Kirkcaldy

We have just received the letter below.  Despite the short notice these concerts may be of interest to members.

My name is Paul Anderson and I’m a traditional Scottish Fiddle player from Aberdeenshire. At the moment I have the leading Swedish Nyckelharpa player with me doing series of concerts featuring traditional music from Scotland and Sweden called “Music of the North”. We’ll be performing at St Columba’s Gaelic Church on St Vincent Street in Glasgow tomorrow night [that is Wednesday 9 October] and at the Kirkcaldy Acoustic Music Club on Thursday night [10 October]  It never occurred to me to get in touch earlier but do you think any of your members might be interested?
Peter whom you may well know or have heard of has been a key figure in taking the Nyckelharpa from near extinction to a point where there are over 10,000 players in Sweden now. He’s been a two time World Champion, performed at Swedish Royal weddings, performed with Benny Anderson’s folk group and is one of only 20 people to have been awarded the gold Rikkspeilman medal (folk music laureate).
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions.
The website is :

Edinburgh Coffee Mornings, Autumn 2019

Det har varit en lång sommar men nu när det börjar bli kyligare och Festivalen är över vore det roligt att ses igen.  Barbro Wright i Penicuik bjuder oss på kaffe onsdagen den 16 oktober.  Ring henne om du tänker komma,  07434 418 535.  Onsdagen 6 november är du bjuden till mej, Kerstin Phillips.  Mitt telefon nummer är 0131 667 5322 och jag bor nära Kings Buildings i Edinburgh.  Kaffemorgonen börjar klockan 10.30 och vid 12 tiden åker vi hem.  Om du behöver hjälp med att hitta så prata med värdinnan.  Välkommen!  Om du har möjlighet att bjuda in oss på kaffe under de kommande månaderna, kontakta mej.  Du behöver inte alls baka men något till kaffet vore gott.  Det väsentliga är ju att vi träffas och kan prata med varandra.