The Dean of Cloyne, the Very Rev. Susan Green, and the Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Ven. Andrew Orr, recently made the journey to Finland for the 100th anniversary celebrations of the diocese of Borgå. The Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross has had a long standing link with Borgå under the Porvoo agreement. The Porvoo agreement was a ground breaking ecumenical document under which the Anglican Churches of Britain and Ireland committed to full sharing of ministry and resources with the Nordic and Baltic Lutheran churches.
About 8% of the population of Finland have Swedish as their first language, and the diocese of Borgå was created in 1923 to bring together the Swedish speaking congregations from across the country. Their cathedral is in the small city of Porvoo (Borgå in Swedish) and the Dean and Archdeacon stayed there as guests of the diocese, representing Bishop Paul Colton.
During their stay, they attended an Experimental Liturgy called “Mass for Diversity” with a setting composed for 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. They had supper as guests of Bishop Bo Gorån Åstrand, along with Most Rev. Martin Modéus, the Archbishop of Sweden, and other clergy and their spouses. They attended a Gala Concert, and as part of this, the Archdeacon gave a short speech in Swedish, Irish and English, bringing the warm greetings of Bishop Colton and highlighting the importance of international co-operation at a time when many nations were turning inwards. He referenced the important work of the recently deceased former Finnish President Maarti Ahtisaari in the Northern Ireland peace process.
On Sunday morning, the 100th anniversary celebrations came to a climax with a Eucharist broadcast live on Finnish TV. The Dean of Cloyne took part, praying for the Porvoo churches and peace and justice across the world.
Dean Green said:
This was a wonderful opportunity to get to know our Finnish friends and to share greetings from Cork with them. It was so lovely to get to know colleagues who are working in very different places.
Archdeacon Orr said:
This was a wonderful visit to our friends in Borgå diocese, and they could not have been more welcoming. We look forward to Bishop Bo Gorån Åstrand leading a visit to Cork, Cloyne and Ross in the very near future.