Pastors and old people singing at church service.

The elderly

There is a range of opportunities for active retired people to volunteer. For example, they can act as support partners – companions and confidants to other elderly people. In many parishes there are a lot of people in need, and there's plenty to do, whether on a long-term or temporary basis.

Some parishes (for example, Lappeenranta, Lahti and Turku) offer activities for non-Finnish speakers, and Helsinki, Kokkola and Salo have groups for Russian speakers.

In addition to the local weekly services, parishes offer regular concerts and prayer meetings. Radio and television offer religious programming, and you'll also find devotional resources online. It's worth asking about local Bible study groups. Alpha courses, which focus on the basics of Christianity, are offered throughout the country.

Recent retirees can avail of discussion groups and presentations on a variety of topics. Day groups for the elderly meet for about two hours at a time to drink tea or coffee, chat and listen to guest speakers. Some parishes offer fitness groups for the elderly.

As always, your parish office can tell you what's going on in your area.