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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Assistant Area Dean for Finland

Many people assume that the only Anglican congregation in Finland is in Helsinki. Of course, this is where Anglican work began in the country. However today the work is expanding with congregations or occasional services in such places as Kerava, Kuopio, Oulu, Pori, Salo, Tampere, Turku and Vaasa.

On Sunday 7 February, during a pastoral visit to St Nicholas's Helsinki, I was able to commission the Revd Tuomas Mäkipää, the chaplain, to be Assistant Area Dean for Finland. Fr Tuomas’ ministry as Assistant Area Dean will include providing pastoral care and support for the clergy and people of our congregations in Finland, outside Helsinki (except Espoo, which is part of St Nicholas Chaplaincy). Priests from the Church of Finland joined us for the Sunday celebration, including the Very Revd Matti Poutiainen, the Dean of Helsinki Cathedral (seen below giving a gift to Fr Tuomas) and the Revd Dr Jaakko Rusama, Co-Moderator of the Anglican-Lutheran Society.

I am grateful that Fr Tuomas has agreed to take up these additional duties and for the oversight he will give to these communities. He will be working in close cooperation with the Area Dean Nick Howe, who is based in Stockholm, and with Archdeacon Colin Williams and myself.  The Anglican presence in Finland continues to grow and develop with many members from African countries, and an increasing number of refugees from Sudan and South Sudan especially. Tuomas is working with me on a pastoral plan which, including the deployment of other priests resident in Finland, several of whom are themselves African.

Fr Maximus (from Nigeria) and Fr Tuomas

Fr Amos (left, from South Sudan) and Dr Jaakko Rusuma (3rd from left)  

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