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New Partnership Agreement for Welsh and Finnish Churches

A formal link has been agreed between the Anglican Diocese of St Asaph in Wales and the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of Helsinki in Finland.

The Partnership, which was signed by the Bishops of both dioceses during the visit of a Finnish delegation to north Wales yesterday (3 June), will see spiritual, imaginative, sustainable, enriching and joyful links developed between the two Christian communities.

Sixteen people from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland have been in north Wales meeting counterparts in the Diocese of St Asaph and discussing partnership opportunities.

Later this month a group of 11 young people from across St Asaph will visit Finland on a young leaders’ programme.  In October, a group of young people from Helsinki will be visiting North Wales. Next year, the Diocese of St Asaph will run a Confirmation Camp for older teenagers in Finland.

The Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, who signed the agreement, said: “Christians the world over share the same faith, but we learn a great deal by understanding the different contexts in which disciples live out their faith.  The Lutheran tradition in Finland has many things in common with our own history, but also throws much that we take for granted into sharp relief.  I am delighted to live and grow and to learn as Christian disciples with our new Nordic partners.”

The Bishop of Helsinki, Teemu Laajasalo, his co-signatory, said: “This agreement is a reminder of the unity of the church of Christ. We do the same work in different parts of Europe and we can learn, encourage and support each other to spread the gospel. Cooperation with St Asaph happens at many levels – between churches and mission areas, between bishops and most importantly, finding ways together to encourage growth across all our churches.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is the national church in the country. It is linked to the Church in Wales by the Porvoo Common Statement which establishes full communion between the British Anglican Churches and the Evangelical Lutheran Churches of northern Europe.

The Diocese of St Asaph is one of six dioceses in the Church in Wales, an independent Province of the Anglican Communion.

ENDS

For further information, please contact the Diocesan Communications Officer for St Asaph, Karen Maurice: karenmaurice@cinw.org.uk / 01745 582245 / 07918 133420.

The text of the agreement in full is available in English, Welsh and Finnish.  The Welsh is here with the English below:

Cytundeb rhwng Esgobaeth Llanelwy a Helsinki

Rydym yn gweld ein hunain fel pererinion yn teithio gyda’n gilydd gan archwilio neges a heriau Efengyl Iesu Grist.

Seilir ein partneriaeth ar Ddatganiad Cyffredin Porvoo: https://www.anglicancommunion.org/media/102178/porvoo_common_statement.pdf

Ein Cenhadaeth yw

datblygu cysylltiadau o gyfeillgarwch a phartneriaeth rhwng ein dwy esgobaeth, ymysg cynulleidfaoedd ac unigolion, mewn ffyrdd sy’n: ysbrydol, yn llawn dychymyg, yn gynaliadwy, cyfeillgar, yn amgylcheddol, yn ymarferol, effeithiol, yn cyfoethogi ac yn llawen.

Ein bwriad yw

nerthu ein tystiolaeth Gristnogol: gweddïo dros ein gilydd, dysgu oddi wrth ein gilydd, cefnogi’n gilydd gan barchu amrywiaeth ein gilydd yn ein diwylliant a’n barn ddiwinyddol ac annog datblygu cyd-ddealltwriaeth rhwng pobl a chynulleidfaoedd Esgobaethau Helsinki a Llanelwy.

Y nodau ymarferol i ddatblygu a chryfhau’r berthynas rhwng y ddwy esgobaeth yw:

  • annog cynulleidfaoedd unigol i gydweithredu a datblygu cwmnïaeth
  • gwella a dyfnhau’r berthynas rhwng yr esgobaethau trwy drafod materion diwinyddol ac ysbrydol

Bydd y bartneriaeth hon yn cael ei hadolygu ar ôl pob cyfnod o bum mlynedd a gellir ei hadnewyddu trwy gydgytundeb. Mewn ymateb i’n dealltwriaeth o alwad Duw i ni, rydym yn ymrwymo ein hunain mewn gweddi er mwyn cyflawni’r bwriadau hyn.

Agreement between the Dioceses of Saint Asaph and Helsinki

We see ourselves as pilgrims journeying together exploring the message and the challenges of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our partnership is based on The Porvoo Common Statement.

Our Mission is

to develop links of friendship and partnership between our two dioceses, among congregations and individuals, in ways that are: spiritual, imaginative, sustainable, environmentally friendly, practical, effective, enriching and joyful.

Our Intention is

to empower our Christian witness: praying for each other, learning from each other, supporting each other respecting each other’s diversity in culture and in our theological opinions and encouraging the development of mutual understanding between the peoples and the congregations of the Dioceses of Helsinki and Saint Asaph.

The practical aims to develop and strengthen the relationship between the two dioceses are:

  • to encourage individual congregations to seek co-operation and companionship
  • to improve and deepen the relationship between dioceses by discussions in theological and spiritual matters

This partnership is to be reviewed after every five-year period and is renewable by mutual agreement. In response to our understanding of God’s call to us, we commit ourselves in prayer to the fulfillment of these intentions.

 

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