If you want to be noticed, enjoy a fun way to travel around Cha-Am and have a little energy to spare, the Cha-Am ‘Party Bike is the way to go. This pedal-powered 12 seater, probably seen by most as a regular participant in the annual Songkram parade, had its most unusual riders ever recently. The Reverend Ragnavald Seierstad, Vidar Svava and other members of the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission were in town and wanted to let the locals know.
The Norwegian Church Abroad or The Norwegian Seamen’s Church (Norwegian: Sjømannskirken) is a religious organisation serving Norwegians and other Scandinavians travelling abroad. Founded in 1864, The Norwegian Seamen’s Mission – Sjømannsmisjonen – was established to secure the moral and religious education of Scandinavian seafarers, but also to give them a “breathing room” where a fellow countryman was available to lend an ear and give some attention. Today, the churches and their staff together with travelling pastors around the globe represent a “resource centre” for all Norwegians travelling internationally.
The Sjømannskirken group are regular visitors to Cha-Am, based in Pattaya but travelling across the country. They provide pastoral care and respond to request from hospitals, prisons and from the Norwegian Embassy when one of their countrymen is in need. In Pattaya, annually there are around 25,000 visitors to the church, not only those in difficulties, but those looking for a way to reconnect to their church or to their fellow-countrymen. Reverend Ragnavald has a very positive view about Norwegians in Thailand. From his perspective, only a minority lead lives which could be described as ‘at risk’, the majority are really playing a very productive and fulfilling role in the community.
In Cha-Am the church unofficial logo, a heart shaped waffle was on offer and enjoyed by the local Norwegian fraternity. As the logo suggest, a heartwarming way to meet the locals. If you want further information visit the website (including an ‘online church’) or call the Pattaya office.
Phone: Church mobile: +66 (0) 85 135 7755 (service hours)
Emergency Tel.: +66 (0) 85 123 9090
Footnote: If you are interested in giving the ‘Party Bike’ a test run or considering a novel way of entertaining your friends (a mobile birthday party?) on a jaunt around town, you’ll find it parked in Soi Long Beach on the right side away from the beach. Call Rogeir (0818 261 480) for more information.