Building our links with Tampere
11 March 2019 IN: Parish News
It was a joy to have Maarika Laakso-Helle spending time in Manchester exploring what church life is like here. She works as a Mission Secretary in Keski-Lahti parish in the Diocese of Tampere and is also a deacon and a teacher. One of the aims of the link between the dioceses of Manchester and Tampere is to learn from one another and to celebrate our common life together.
During her stay, Maarika was hosted by Revds Jo and Roger Farnworth and she spent time in their parishes in Droylsden and Ashton-under-Lyne, experiencing the day to day life in these places and also taking part in Sunday worship. She visited a Breakfast Club at St Richard’s, Peel Green and Place of Welcome at St John’s, Hurst, met with diocesan staff at 90 Deansgate and attended a Fairtrade event at Manchester Cathedral.
Maarika is particularly interested in how the church in Manchester works alongside refugees and people of other faiths as this is becoming a significant part of her work in Finland. To highlight some of the work we are involved in, she spent time at various community events in Rochdale with Near Neighbours Co-ordinator Samra Azam, visited a mosque and went to a Red Cross drop in at St Peter’s in Ashton-under-Lyne.
Speaking of her visit to Manchester, Maarika said, "I have seen how wonderfully you treat people here whatever their background. We belong to the same family, even though we live far apart. We can pray for each other, support each other and love each other. I will take home memories of how you welcome and show love to people."