Religious Communities Membership Records Act

Every religious community in Finland (including the Anglican Church) is obliged to keep a list of their members by an Act of the Parliament.

The Church of England does not require those attending in the life of the church or, taking part in the decision making (Electoral roll) to be ‘members’ of the church. Therefore no one attending, or being part of, the Anglican Church community in Finland is required to be to fulfil registration form. However, it is every persons right to be register and thus being recognised as an Anglican. This registration helps, for example, when making decisions about religious education for one’s child. Registration is a way to secure freedom of religion as it gives verified data about members of religious communities. Registration is also an indication of how person might wish to be buried (though we advice that each member makes a separate will expressing their wish concerning funeral service and burial).

Information collected in to Membership Records is kept by the Church and transferred to the Population Information System. Information gathered includes:

  • Family name and first names
  • Date of Birth of Finnish ID number (social security code)
  • Address and the place of residence (muncipality)
  • Date when membership in the religious community has come to effect
  • Date when the person has ceased to be a member

In addition to above mention information, the record may include all or some of the following:

  • Place of Birth, Nationality and language
  • Date when the person has move from one parish to another
  • Information about marital status, family and
  • Spouse’s name and, ID number or Date of Birth
  • Child’s name and, ID number or Date of Birth
  • Information concerning baptism, marriage service, funeral service or, any other similar service or rite
  • Any information relating to any position of trust. or similar, the person is holding in the religious community

The Religious Communities Membership Records Act can be found on Finlex (in Finnish or Swedish)