The congregation of Christ the King in Tampere was established as a joint ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Diocese in Europe back in 2006. Both the Finnish Church and our own see this as a concrete way to put the Porvoo Agreement into action. The Church now has a very interesting outreach to the neighbourhood in Tampere, especially with younger folk and students. The congregation members are a very international group from Finland, other parts of Europe including the UK, Africa and Asia. Fr Tuomas Mäkipää, the Chaplain of Helsinki, and Area Dean of Finland, oversees the Anglican collaboration in Christ the King.
Fr Amos Manga, an assistant priest in the Anglican Church in Finland, lives in Tampere and has a particular relationship to this congregation which ministers to many from the South Sudanese community, most of whom were refugees who were welcomed to Finland close to 2 decades ago.
|Fr Amos Manga and Bishop and Mrs Repo|
I was able to preside at confirmations in the Church on 15 October, and was very happy to have conversations with my old friend, Bishop Matti Repo of Tampere diocese, who was instrumental in setting up this joint work 17 years ago, before he was a bishop!
Incidentally, the journey from Helsinki to Tampere (some 180 km) was not able to be done by train, which would be our first choice. There was too little time after the Sunday mass in Helsinki itself, at which I was presiding and preaching, and we were required to make a stop at a priest's home before the service in Tampere. The Chaplain of St Nicholas Helsinki therefore rented a car and negotiated an upgrade with the agency, to look after his bishop in style!