The Salvation Army opens gathering with free soup as lunch
The Salvation Army invites the citizens of Oslo and visitors to its annual congress on Saturday. It offers free soup, served on a 100-metre long table, in the middle of Youngstorget.
“The Salvation Army is born in the open air, and our mission is inextricably linked to being among people. It is, Therefore, quite natural that we now bring our annual congress back to the street,” Commander and Head of the Salvation Army in Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, William Cochrane explains.
The long table is part of the Salvation Army annual assembly for all its members, volunteers and others. On Saturday morning, a complimentary soup lunch was served there.
Youngstorget in Oslo
The main arena for the annual Congress is at Youngstorget in Oslo, inside a 1200 square metre large tent.
“This year we bring the meeting place back into the open air, on street level. We want to offer soup, soap and salvation to the inhabitants of the city,” Communications Manager of the Salvation Army, Geir Smith-Solevåg, informs.
The event at Youngstorget consists of, among other things, worship services, concerts, seminars and activities for children and young people.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army (TSA) is a Protestant Christian church and an international charitable organisation.
The organisation reports a worldwide membership of over 1.7 million, consisting of soldiers, officers and adherents collectively known as Salvationists.
Its founders sought to bring salvation to the poor, destitute, and hungry by meeting both their “physical and spiritual needs”.
It is present in 131 countries, running charity shops, operating shelters for the homeless and disaster relief and humanitarian aid to developing countries.
The theology of the Salvation Army is derived from that of Methodism, although it is distinctive in institution and practice.
A peculiarity of the Army is that it gives its clergy titles of military ranks, such as “lieutenant” or “major”.
It does not celebrate the rite of Baptism and Holy Communion. However, the Army’s doctrine is otherwise typical of holiness churches in the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition.
The Army’s purposes are “the advancement of the Christian religion … of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole”.
The Army was founded in 1865 in London by one-time Methodist circuit-preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine as the East London Christian Mission.
It can trace its origins to the Blind Beggar tavern.
In 1878 Booth reorganised the mission, becoming its first General and introducing the military structure which has been retained as a matter of tradition.
Its highest priority is its Christian principles.
The current international leader of The Salvation Army and chief executive officer (CEO) is General Brian Peddle, who was elected by the High Council of The Salvation Army on August 3rd 2018.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today