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Dear reader

Happu Midsummer – Hyvää Juhannusta!

Thursday, 24th June was the Feast of John the Baptist. This is not very popular feast – or at least not well-known reason to feast – in Nordic countries. Though celebration of midsummer near the summer solstice pre-dates any Christian traditions, it has become an important day to commemorate John the Baptist, a forerunner whose mission was to preach about the “one who comes after him”. The divine services on this day have many references to Christmas.

I wish you all happy midsummer and holidays as many of you are probably starting your summer leave. Please be assured that the church carries you, and the needs of this world, in prayers even when you are on holiday. I ask you to continue to remember the church, and the world, in your private prayers. If you happen to be in Helsinki, please do join in our outdoor service at the courtyard of Mikael Agricola Church on Sunday.

In Christ,


All of our Services can be viewed live on Facebook, or you can click this link to
watch on our website: Worship With Us
10am Outdoor Eucharist (weather permitting*) in Mikael Agricola Courtyard
Order of Service

Lamentations 3.23-33
2 Corinthians 8.7-end

Mark 5.21 - end

* If the weather is not suitable for an Outdoor Service we will hold the Eucharist indoors
Outdoor Service
Thursday Evening Prayer resumes at the end of August

We need volunteers each week for our Sunday Services. Please sign up here: Sign-up Rotas

(Alternatively you can email Sarah with your preferred dates & role at office@anglican.fi)


Midsummer Traditions

Midsummer images
At Midsummer families will get together, usually at a summer cottage (mökki) where they can enjoy the nature around them. Most festivities happen on Midsummer Eve (Friday night) and it is traditional to make a bonfire. It is so light that many Finns will stay up all through the night.

Juhannus is one of Finland's flagging days and it is the only day of the year when the flag is allowed to stay up all through the night (on other flagging days it has to come down before sunset). Then of course there is the obligatory sauna followed by a swim in the lake or sea.
Another tradition is for young ladies to collect 7 wild flowers and put them under their pillow on Midsummer Eve - the next night you will apparently see your future husband in your dreams! Girls will often make garlands of flowers to wear in their hair as well.

In Finland the summer solstice was originally called 'Ukon Juhla' after the Finnish sky god Ukko, but after Christianity was adopted it became 'Juhannus' in honour of John the Baptist - whose feast day is on June 24th. Hyvää juhannusta! (Happy Midsummer!)
Gardeners Corner (2)
Dear readers, have you noticed how fast this glorious (over-glorious?) summer is wizzing along? It’s leaving me, for one, all behind.

In a largish garden there are always so many jobs piling up waiting to be done that one has to keep running just to stay in one place. Sometimes I almost envy those of you with smaller plots of land.
By now I daresay you have done all the spring sowing and planting. If not, there are all conceivable arrangements of pot- or basket-grown flowers, tomatoes, strawberries, aromatic herbs and what-have-yous to choose from in garden centres and local markets. Go for bush tomatoes so that you won’t have to worry about picking off side-shoots – you just let the plants rip. Before you fork up do make sure that the plants look healthy and haven’t been kept in some dingy space where the plants rapidly become drawn out, yellowed and useless during a few days of hot weather. If your nurturing instincts are still unrepleted it’s still not too late to sow ’Tom Thumb’ nasturtiums for an August-September show.

I did write this earlier, but it bears repeating: your new purchases are very likely to be pot-bound. The grower maximises profits by growing the plants in the minimum amount of soil in small pots to produce saleable plants. In other words, get some more potting compost (puutarhamulta) and move your pot-bound babes into larger pots.

We want tomatoes and squashes to set fruit after the flowers have withered. In the case of flowering ornamental, we don’t generally want the plants to go to seed – unless we want to save our own seed to sow next spring. In fact, we can manipulate a plant’s flowering by preventing the plant from even trying to make seed. The plant, as if frustrated in its efforts to produce seed, reacts by producing more flowering shoots. In other words, we can prolong a plant’s flowering period and panache by removing the flowers as soon as they have withered or become unsightly. Some modern breeds of plants, such as the so-called surfinia petunias, have been bred to be sterile. These don’t need to be ”dead-headed” as their energies aren’t going into seed production, anyway.

Many people find the task (or chore) of dead-heading pretty tedious – and in the case of the old-fashioned petunias and tobaccos that haven’t had their fertility bred out of them, you’ll discover it’s a sticky job. Make sure the faded flower is completely removed – if you merely pull off the faded petals and leave the business part below intact, this latter can still produce seed. Dead-heading is definitely not everybody’s cup of tea (or sticky sap) but some of us find the task therapeutic. It takes all sorts, doesn’t it? (some muvvers do ’ave ’em, ennit?)…

A few comments on staking. Many of your plants such as trailing lobelias, petunias, surfinias and nasturtiums can be allowed to drape themselves freely from their pots or boxes without become untidy. More erect plants such as gladioli, most sweet peas and some geraniums will need some kind of tying up. Cut some willow wands or straight sticks from some neglected patch. It’s a good idea to strip off the bark from the lower part of the stem to inhibit its rooting into the soil. Sharpen the end to make it easier to insert and do less damage to existing roots. Raffia (niini) is a natural fibre from the raffia palm-tree and stays strong for the current season.You should find it in Bauhaus; a 2 euro bundles should go a long way. Tie the end of the raffia to the support before you loop the rest around your plant.

In very warm summer weather populations of aphids or plant lice (greenfly, blackfly) build up very rapidly. Aphids suck the sap of vigorously growing plants, starting from the tender growing tips and soon spreading to most parts of the plant. You should be able to physically dislodge most of them with a vigorous jet of water, the treatment being repeated for several successive evenings. You may want to resort to using insecticides. The Neudorff preparations are supposed to be ecologically friendly … I wonder? Maybe. If you do use chemical control, do it late in the evening after the bees have gone to bed. You can collect aphid-gobbling ladybirds and release them, but there will be a lag before they become really effective (ladybird larvae are much more voracious, i.e., effective than the adults) . Some people claim that sting-nettle effusions are effective against aphids.

Try to spare wasps for the time being – until they really become a nuisance later in the summer. Wasps prey on many kinds of caterpillars and grubs that damage garden plants.

Here’s hoping you can enjoy a reasonably bug-free summer!


Brenda's Orange Drink!

Thank you to Brenda Tuomainen for sending us this refreshing Summer drink.

If you have a recipe you would be willing to share then please email it to Sarah at office@anglican.fi.
2 large oranges
1 litre of boiling water
A kilo of sugar
50g sitruunahappo
Wash the oranges and slice them into a large bowl
Add the sugar & sitruunahapoa, then pour on the boiling water
Stir until the sugar has dissolved
Cover the bowl with a large plate and leave overnight
In the morning stir again, then decant the liquid into another bowl using a sieve
You can then bottle the drink and serve with ice (add more water if you prefer it less sweet)

    Annual Chaplaincy Meeting - Sunday 29th August 2021

    Please take a look at our NEW leaflet which gives a brief overview of the lay roles which are so important to the life of our Church - these include the role of Churchwarden, Council member, Diocesan Synod Representative & Safeguarding Officer. We hope that the information provided will inspire more members of our community to nominate themselves or others to serve God and one another through these roles. The leaflet will also be available at the back of Church, alongside the nomination and electoral roll forms.

    Lay Roles Information Leaflet

    Please remember that in order to stand for election or to vote at the meeting you need to be on the Electoral Roll. If you added your name to the electoral roll back in 2019 then you don't need to put your name down again until 2025, but if you are unsure or would like to check then please don't hesitate to get in touch with Sarah in the office.

    To be added to the Electoral Roll and/or to stand for one of our lay roles then please fill out the relevant form and return it before the ACM. You can now pick up nomination and electoral roll forms at the back of Church or download them from our website: https://www.anglican.fi/registration-forms/

    Our Annual Report is available here: Annual Report 2020

    Sunday School & Youth Group

    Sunday School and Youth Group are on Summer break
    We resume in August in the Church crypt


    The choir is now on Summer break, returning on August 1st. We look forward to our full choir returning in the Autumn, as and when members feel safe to join.

    COVID guidelines

    when coming to worship at St Nicholas

    1. Before entering the Church, please use the hand disinfectant provided or wash your hands in the bathrooms.
    2. All those joining in worship (clergy and laity) should wear a face mask to reduce transfer of respiratory droplets into the environment. Those who have a formal part in the liturgy (presiding, preaching, reading, interceding) may remove their face mask when they are actually speaking. Please be careful where masks are placed to avoid cross-contamination. Face masks are available at the entrance.
    3. The Vergers are here to ensure your safety and those of other members of the congregation by overseeing the seating arrangements and providing guidance during the service. They will ask you for a phone number when you arrive at Church, this is for purely for contact tracing.
    4. The seating arrangements have been planned to ensure that a two-metre distance is maintained. If you are here with your family or individuals who live with you in the same household, you are welcome to sit together.
    5. Should you feel the need to cough or sneeze, please use a tissue. Used tissues can be disposed of in the bin at the entrance. It is recommended that each individual or each family carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer.
    6. At the Peace, please maintain a safe distance from other members of the congregation. The sign itself can take the form of a wave or smile instead of shaking hands.
    7. Holy Communion will be administered in the form of the wafer only. The wafer will be administered by the Chaplain and you will be guided at this point in the service by the Vergers. If you wish to receive Holy Communion then please extend your hands, with face covering in place. You may lower or unloop your face mask to consume the consecrated bread and then replace the face mask before moving back to your place in the congregation.
    8. The Vergers will ensure that safe distancing is maintained when leaving the Church, please wait for their signal that it is safe to leave.
    9. Contactless giving is available at the entrance/exit. Offerings can also be placed in a basket at the exit when leaving the service.
    10. Please note that there is no post-service gathering for tea and fellowship in the Crypt.
    11. Online Sunday School finishes on 30th May and resumes in early August. At this point we are not permitted to hold Sunday School in the crypt.
    Those with symptoms of Covid-19 or other respiratory or flu-like illness, or an elevated temperature, or who are particularly vulnerable to infection should not attend public services, but join our online worship.


    Sunday 22nd August
    Back to School All-Age Service
    Sunday 29th August
    Annual Chaplaincy Meeting after the service
    Sunday 5th September
    Choral Evensong
    18.00 from Töölön kirkko
    Sunday 3rd October
    Harvest Festival
    Sunday 14th November
    Remembrance Sunday
    Saturday 4th December
    Annual Bazaar!
    Do you have some news to share with the congregation? Please email office@anglican.fi


    In these difficult times your continued support is greatly appreciated and if possible we would ask you to consider donating towards our ongoing costs by clicking here to be directed to our easy Donate buttons or by means of a bank transfer using the details below:

    Suomen Anglikaaninen Kirkko (The Anglican Church in Finland)
    IBAN: F173 3131 1000 3282 07


    Almighty God,
    by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born,
    and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Saviour by the preaching of repentance:
    lead us to repent according to his preaching and , after his example,
    constantly to speak the truth, boldly to rebuke vice,
    and patiently to suffer for the truth's sake,
    through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
    who is alive and reigns with you,
    in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever. Amen.
    Porvoo Prayer Calendar

    Church of England: Diocese of Lincoln, Bishop Christopher Lowson, Bishop David Court,
    Bishop Nicholas Chamberlain
    Church of Sweden: Diocese of Härnösand, Bishop Eva Nordung Byström
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland: Diocese of Lappo, Bishop Simo Peura


    Father Tuomas Mäkipää (050-3099132)

    Urdu Language Ministry: parvez.gill@anglican.fi
    Father Gill Parvez

    Arne Laitinen
    Johnson Samuel

    Henry Rawstorne
    Daniel Jack

    Director of Music: erik.riekko@anglican.fi
    Erik Johannes Riekko
    Sunday School Team: office@anglican.fi
    Jane Mayhew-Smith
    Jayawin & Tino Jayapal
    Sarah Tahvanainen

    Safeguarding officer:safeguarding@anglican.fi

    Office Manager: office@anglican.fi
    Sarah Tahvanainen

    Deanery Synod reps:

    [Please use the contact emails provided]

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