March 2020

St Nicholas News

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

Update 16.03.2020

The Finnish Government has today announced further actions to slow down the Coronavirus. These include taking in to use emergency powers legislation which allow the Government to by-pass many normal procedures in order to implement restrictions and policies to protect the nation.

All public gathering of more than 10 people have been banned. Government-run re-creational activities, public archives etc will be closed. The Prime Minister has asked churches and other religious entities to follow this advice. There remains some uncertainty what the churches are able to do at the moment. We are investigating the Government announcement and update these pages as we know more. As a Church of England chaplaincy (or parish) we must follow her guidelines also.

For many of you the closing of schools and border-crossing points is a source of huge stress and anxiety. I am aware that some have been called back home by their employers. Those in risk groups must take good care of themselves by avoiding unnecessary going out.

But as the Prime Minister said, you are free to visit parks and take care of your necessary daily tasks. As a church community - and as individuals - we can think how to best help our neighbours in need.

The Chaplain can be contacted by phone or by e-mail also during this time. He is available for pastoral care and guidance. Funeral services can take place but with no more than 10 people. Baptisms and Marriage services must be postponed until further notice.

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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