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by Michael Ford last modified 13 Jun, 2019 12:16 PM

The Diocese of Salisbury has been twinned with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia since the late 1980s.

At its heart, the link is an expression of Christian fellowship through visits, friendship, letters/emails, and prayer.

The personal contact and friendship that arises out of visits between the two countries is the vital element that makes the link a reality.

People from parishes meet and become friends, and find their Christian lives enriched by meeting Christians of another culture. Working Party document here; Diocese of Europe web entry here.

A video clip was filmed at the 2017 Clergy Conference, with Romans Kurpnieks-Logins, Andris Krauliņš and Paul Richardson. View it on this page or click here.

The Chairman of the Latvia Working Party is the Ven Alan Jeans:
01722 438662,  

The Secretary is Canon Paul Richardson:
01380 724389, .


Current Projects

Sherborne Abbey with St Saviour’s, Rīga

  • The most active of our parish links, with regular contact between churches and exchange visits.
  • St Saviour’s, the Anglican church in Rīga, has a special ministry to the homeless and the elderly - they operate two projects from their church, a Soup Kitchen and a Senior’s Club, both of which have received financial support from the Sherborne Abbey congregation.
  • Contact Mr David Smart:

St John’s, Upper Studley, Trowbridge with Talsi

  • This friendship link is mostly focused on exchange of letters, e-mails, greetings cards, although church members from Talsi have visited Trowbridge.

St Thomas’s, Ensbury Park, Bournemouth, with Ainaži

  • At present this link is limited to the exchange of greetings cards between one member of each congregation.

All Saints, Branksome Park, Poole, with Sloka

  • In the past, four youth and children’s workers from Latvia were taken by members of All Saints to the Greenbelt Festival.
  • Later, a family from Poole joined the Sloka parish holiday camp in Latvia.

Cathedrals Link

  • In May 2005, the Salisbury Cathedral Chapter Clerk, Brig Kit Owen, and the Head of Visitor Services, Alun Williams, visited Riga at the invitation of the Dean of Rīga Cathedral, to see whether they could offer advice and support as the Latvian Church prepared to take over possession of the Cathedral from the Government.
  • A very fruitful relationship has since developed between the Cathedrals, and a number of exchange visits have taken place.



  • The Latvia Link does not receive any financial support from the diocesan annual budget but, through the generosity of a number of parishes and individuals, it has some funds which are used mainly to help fund exchange visits.
  • If you would like to make a contribution towards this work, our account is overseen by the diocesan Head of Finance, Liz Ashmead:



  • Please pray for new opportunities to create links between our Diocese and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia, and for a deepening of existing links.
  • Please pray that Archbishop Jānis Vanags will be blessed with good health, strength and wisdom as he carries the responsibilities of leadership.
  • Please pray for all Latvians who have come to our country seeking work, that they will be welcomed and treated with fairness and justice by their employers.
  • Give thanks that the ancient church of St Peter's, Rīga, has been returned to church ownership, and for its renewed mission and ministry.

O God our Father, we pray for the country and people of Latvia
For their leaders in government and public life
May they learn to govern in justice, mercy and truth
For the people of Latvia, give them concern for those in every kind of need
For the leaders of the churches, keep them faithful and courageous and fill them with love
For Archbishop Janis Vanags, give him vision and discernment
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Merciful God, we pray for our brothers and sister in Christ in Latvia
Where there is cynicism may they bring faith
Where there is despair may they bring hope
Where there is bitterness may they bring love
That people may see and believe and rejoice in the gift of eternal life
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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