Frequently Asked Questions

What is Porvoo?
A fellowship of  Anglican and Lutheran Churches in Great Britain and Ireland, the Nordic region, Iberia and the Baltic countries.

What does Porvoo imply?
The Porvoo Agreement  has established altar and pulpit fellowship between the signatory Churches, making members of each of the Churches in all but formal terms members of each  other’s Churches.

Why is it called Porvoo?
Porvoo is the name of  the cathedral city in Finland where the representatives of the participating Churches celebrated the Eucharist following the conclusion of their ground breaking dialogue.

Which are the Porvoo Churches?
The  Churches of England and Ireland, the Church in Wales and the Scottish Episcopal  Church, together with the Churches of Norway, Denmark and Sweden, and the  Evangelical Lutheran Churches of Estonia, Finland, Iceland and Lithuania. Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad and the Lutheran Church in Great Britain signed the Porvoo Declaration in 2014.  The Lusitanian Church and the Reformed Episcopal Church  of Spain, are as extra-provincial diocese under the metropolitical authority of  the Archbishop of Canterbury, also members of Porvoo.

Are these the only Churches  involved?
No,  the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia have a role within the Porvoo Communion as  observer. A number  of other churches such as for example the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD)  and the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht are regularly invited to  follow the proceedings of the Porvoo communion.

Why do we need the Porvoo Communion?
The Porvoo  Communion is a manifestation of the calling of the Church to reaffirm its fundamental unity. The calling of all Christians is to proclaim the oneness of  the church of Jesus Christ and to call the churches to  the goal of visible unity. Porvoo is one step of many along that way.

What are the practical implications  of Porvoo?
Any baptized member of one of the Porvoo churches is, according to the Porvoo  Agreement, to be regarded as members of our own, and should be welcomed to receive sacramental and other pastoral ministrations.

What does this mean when it comes  to baptisms?
A baptism  performed by water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit within the Porvoo communion is acknowledged by all the other Porvoo churches. This rule doesn’t only apply to the Porvoo churches, but to all Christian churches who baptize by water in the name of the Triune God.

What does this mean when it comes  to confirmation?
A person who is confirmed in any of the Porvoo churches, whether by a bishop or by a priest, is considered to be confirmed in all other Porvoo churches.

What does this mean when it comes  to weddings?
Holy matrimony is both a civil and an ecclesial entity – it has both to do with the state and with the church. A marriage service thus has to take both civil and canon law into consideration and you need to check with each of the Porvoo churches individually, as with your Embassy, if you wish to marry in any of the  Porvoo countries.

What does this mean when it comes  to funerals?
As with marriage, regulations surrounding funerals are regulated both by civil and ecclesial law. You need to check with each of the Porvoo churches individually, as with your Embassy, if you wish to use the services of any of the Porvoo churches when it comes to funerals.

What do pastoral services within the Porvoo Communion cost ?
The Porvoo Agreement is an ecumenical, not an economical agreement. This means that rules regarding fees for different ecclesial services differ from Church to Church.

It doesn’t cost anything in my  Church so why should it cost anything in another Church?
The financial situation of individual Porvoo Churches differ widely and arrangements which  are possible in one context might not work in another. In some Churches the State collects an obligatory so-called Church fee or tax from all members, in others the individual member pays his/her voluntary levy via the collection box in the church. This means that some of the Porvoo Churches have a stronger financial situation than others. In addition, those churches that are maintained voluntarily by the contributions of their members are entirely dependent on the good stewardship of resources to maintain their mission, which includes fees for pastoral services.

I am a priest in one of the Porvoo Churches and would like  to serve in one of the other Churches – what do I do?

What is needed for a pastor to work in another Porvoo Church?
First you need to see if there is job available. You may have found that out already or you may need to ask via the Porvoo Contact Person in the other churches. To find out about qualifications you should read the Commentary on the Porvoo Declaration. You will always need a letter of recomendation from your bishop. Requirements such as knowledge of local language might also apply.