March 2020

St Nicholas News

Guidelines during the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Updated 13.3.2020 at 09:50

The situation with coronavirus and the disease it causes is getting more severe in Finland. Many have asked about the Church’s response to the situation. We follow closely The Finnish Government, health authority THL but also the Church of England guidelines. The Diocese in Europe publishes its own information which can be found here. As the Anglican Church in Finland operates in premises owned and governed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland, we follow their instructions also.

As we all follow the development of this situation, let us keep in our prayers and thoughts those already affected and those who work medical services.

Protect people around you

Please avoid any public gathering if you feel sick. Even if you would think that you have “just an ordinary flu”.

Remember to wash your hands whenever possible and use hand sanitisers.

Please do not come to church if you are ill.

Protect yourself

Wash your hands regularly by using soap and running water. Scrub for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitiser.

If you have an existing medical condition, please take care of yourself by avoiding large crowds and by washing your hands regularly.

Church activities

The Sunday services continues for the time being. Please wash your hands when arriving at the church and use hand sanitiser if possible.

Please do not shake hands and avoid all unnecessary touching of other people. This applies also for the Peace during the service.

The Communion is administered in one kind only. The Celebrant at the Eucharist places the bread on your palm from where you can take it yourself and eat. The wine is not administered for the time being; only the Celebrant receives the wine. This practice is fully within the theology and tradition of the Anglican Church.

The coffee moment after the service is suspended. A key part of our Sunday service is the moment when we can chat with each other. This is, however, also the moment when the risk of contamination increases significantly.

The Sunday School is suspended. The Finnish Government has recommended that children’s hobbies and activities should be suspended.

The Choir is suspended and therefore does not sing in the services.

The Chaplain can be contacted by phone or e-mail. Please avoid inviting the clergy for home or hospital visits unless in very urgent emergency. This helps preventing the virus from spreading.

Live streaming services

In addition, users can watch live streams of services from a range of churches including:

Fear not

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) does pose a serious risk especially to those who have a pre-existing medical condition. So it has to be taken seriously. The measures the Government have introduced are to slow down the spread of the virus so that the health services can better manage the situation and focus in treating those patients who are seriously ill.

Being concerned and cautious does not, however, mean that we should be afraid. In fact, the advice given is very similar to what should happen if we suffer from ordinary flu or influenza. This time we are better prepared and can slow down the virus by following the instructions by the authorities. Once the pandemic is over we resume to normal - keeping in mind and continuing the practice of good hygiene.

With my prayers,
Tuomas Mäkipää, Chaplain & Area Dean for Finland

Sunday 15th March

The Choral Evensong - Cancelled

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