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Monday, 14 May 2012

Consultation on Anglican work in Finland

On 2 May in the western Finnish city of Pori, Anglican clergy, ordinands, readers and lay officials held a consultation on various matters to do with the life, mission, pastoral organisation and staffing of Anglican work in Finland. Some clergy from the Church of Finland who assist with Anglican work joined in the consultation, recognising the important place of the Porvoo Agreement when it comes to the Church of England presence in the country.

Aspects of the life of the congregations and communities in Helsinki, Espoo, Turku, Pori, Salo, Rauma and Kuopio were reviewed as well as that of the White Nile congregations in Vaasa and Oulu. (Representatives from the joint Anglican-Lutheran congregation of Christ the King in Tampere as well as the community in Mikkeli unfortunately were not able to be represented at this consultation). Archdeacon Jonathan LLoyd and Area Dean of the Nordic and Baltic counties, the Revd Barbara Moss, were on hand for support, advice and direction. It was a full day of rich sharing, prayer and discussion, with some agreed items for follow-up.

The Revd Dr Mika Pajunen, (below right), an assistant priest in the Anglican Church in Finland, teaches at the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences in Pori. Fr Mika was able to arrange the meeting at the same time as an international gathering of diaconal workers was being held at the University, making for some interesting encounters. One person I met was Armin Krueger (below left), who works for the German Evangelical Lutheran community in Finland. Armin is classified in the Finnish Church system as a "deaconess" even though clearly a man. Church can be so complicated!

The closing eucharist seemed to be a good time for me to admit the newly elected Churchwardens of St Nicholas, Helsinki, Rachel Skinner and Jonathan Heeb, who were part of the consultation. They are pictured below with Fr Tuomas Mäkipää, assistant curate at St Nicholas.

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