“Traditionally, the Icelandic fishing companies in Humberside have given us fish which the Icelandic choir has then sold on for fundraising,” says embassy priest, Sigurdur Arnarson.
When the financial crisis hit with full force in October, Arnarson got in touch with importers to see if the embassy itself could start to receive fish supplies, “which we got right away,” Arnarson said. “Now we are selling it to those with the money, and those who want it for free get it for free.”
Arnarson says that many Icelanders have come to the embassy recently to get fish, especially haddock.
The Icelandic embassy in London has had several offers of help from those concerned for Icelanders struggling in the UK as their kronur buy them less and less. One example is the British employer who has offered financial support to Icelandic students in the UK.
“We celebrated on Sunday the 25th anniversary of the Icelandic parish in London, and over 260 people attended. The church was absolutely packed,” Arnarson said. “The atmosphere was great. People came all the way from Hull to meet the Icelanders.”
He said preparations are now already underway for the festival with Icelandic artists, starting 1st December at Cadogan Hall in London. The festival is collaboration between the Icelandic Embassy in London, The Icelandic Association of the UK and the Icelandic Congregation.