Site menu:

10th Consultation: Tartu, Estonia

28 May-1 June 2008


Opening Ceremony

Full sized picture

The opening ceremony took place in the brand new conference centre of the Hotel Dorpat in Tartu.  Representatives brought forward flags and emblems from their countries and Rev Naatan Haamer (the Organiser of the Consultation) opened the consultation in prayer.

The following guest addressed the consultation:

  • Archbishop Andres Pōder, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Estonia
  • Rev Meego Remmel, the president of the Estonian Council of Churches
  • Rev Eenok Haamer, the Rektor of the Tartu Theological Academy

Left to right: Archbishop Andres Pōder, Rev Eenok Haamer, Rev Meego Remmel


A letter of greeting was read from Maret Maripuu, Minister of Social Affairs.

Read the Letter




Session 1

Welcome given to the representatives by Fr Stavros Kofinas

The representatives introduced themselves, country by country

   Fr Stavros Kofinas

Fr Stavros gave the Co-ordinator's Report.


Session 2

“Chaplain as servant of the quality of life and sanctification”

Dana Kalnina-Zake (Latvia) introduced the topic.

Talks were given on the theological perspective of three different church traditions:


Fr Angelo Brusco, Sten Lundgren, Dana Kalnina-Zake


Protestant: Sten Lundgren (Sweden) 

Catholic: Fr Angelo Brusco (Italy) 
PowerPoint Slides

Orthodox: Fr Stavros Kofinas (Ecumenical Patriarchate)


Session 3

“The Chaplain in the face of life and death issues – the practical implications”

Axel Liégeois, Fr Nuno, Kathrin Jahns, Marie Opatrná and Anne Vandenhoeck

Anne Vandenhoeck (Belgium)
introduced the topic and moderated the session. 
PowerPoint Slides

Personal pastoral experiences presented by:

Fr Nuno (Portugal) 

Marie Opatrná (Czech Republic)
Text   Slides

Kathrin Jahns (Germany)

Axel Liégeois (Belgium) gave some thoughts on a pastoral theological framework
PowerPoint Slides


The paricipants shared in a
Prayer Service for those who are ill

in the Jaani Church. 

The service was led by Anne Miller-Lauprete (France)


FRIDAY 30 MAY 2008

Session 4

"An overview of end of life issues throughout Europe"

Rev Richard Fischer
(Executive Secretary of the Council of European Churches – Church and Society Commission) Talked about the Working Group on Bioethics of CSC and their discussions on Euthanasia.

  Rev Richard Fischer

Fr Edward Lewis (England and Wales) moderated a session when 4 short papers were presented about the situation in 4 different European countries:

Marlène Inauen (Switzerland)

Axel Liégeois (Belgium)
PowerPoint Slides

Edward Lewis (England and Wales)


Excursion to south Estonia.

Our Estonian friends took us on a trip to see and experience fragments of the rich folklore and beautiful nature of southern Estonia. We walked through interesting  bog-landscapes which are quite rare in contemporary Europe.


Session 5

The day started with a general discussion about how to prepare a statement on the topic of the Consultation.  Finally a very short statement was agreed:

The European Network of Health Care Chaplaincy met in Tartu, Estonia in May 2008 and discussed end of life issues.  The issues were complex and varied in terms of theology and law.  These will continue to be discussed as long as the sanctity of life is important.


Changes to the constitution.
Fred Coutts
(Scotland) led a discussion about the proposed changes to the constitution which had been sent out with the papers for the meeting. He pointed out a mistake in the papers. In Paragraph 8 the number of members of the committee should be 8 not 6.
The changes were approved unanimously.

Text of Constitution 2008


Fr Stavros
presented the Financial Report of the Network.

General comments by the Coordinator

Fr Stavros paid tribute to Ton Hanrath from the Netherlands who was killed in a car crash in 2007.  Ton was one of the founding members of the consultations for hospital chaplaincies that began in 1990.


Fr Stavros urged participants to enter into dialogue between consultations.  He encouraged them to reply, giving their views on messages sent out by the Coordinator.  He requested participants to inform the Coordinator about national conferences of their organisations so that a greeting can be sent.  He urged people to make more use of the News Page of website so that news can be shared.
Not may articles had been sent in to the Library: he encourage all to share useful  articles- language is not a problem. Anne Vandenhoeck agreed to continue to organise the library.
The Coordinator concluded by thanking Fred as webmaster and Naatan and all his team for organising the Consultation.

Location of 11th Consultation
Fr Stavros noted that by the time of the next consultation the organisation will have been meeting for 20 years,10 of these as the ENHCC. The 11th Consultation must be a celebration! We also need to bring in countries not yet represented.

Offers to host the consultation came from England & Wales and from the Netherlands.

On a vote being taken, 27 Countries and Associations voted for England & Wales, 7 for Netherlands

The England & Wales  representatives were asked to decide which one would serve on the committee. [Subsequently the England and Wales representatives chose Debbie Hodge to lead the organising team for the 11th Consultation and to serve on the network committee.]

The network committee will consider the topic suggested by the Netherlands representatives as a possible theme for the next consultation:  The spirituality and competence of the healthcare chaplain.

Anne Miller-Lauprete (France) indicated that the representatives from both the Catholic and Protestant Chaplaincies in France would hold conversations which they hoped would lead to the offer of hosting the 12th Consultation in France.

Church and Society Commission of CEC

It was agreed that the ENHCC should become an associate member of Church and Society Ccommission.

Session 6

Open Discussion

Representatives raised a variety of topics not yet covered during the discussions and spoke about issues in their countries.


Greetings were read from Rune Forsbeck (Sweden) and Eirik Os from (Norway) who are both honorary participants.


Session 7

Election to Network Committee

Elections to the Network Committee took place by secret ballot.   The following were elected:

Fr Stavros Kofinas (for 2 years)

Committee Members:
Axel Liégeois (Belgium)
Fr José Nuno (Portugal)
Dana Kalnina-Zake (Latvia)
Anneke Kemper (Netherlands)

Also on the Committee:
Naatan Haamer (Organiser of the last Consultation)
Debbie Hodge (Organiser of the next Consultation)
Fred Coutts (Webmaster)

Committee Page

Left to right:  Debbie Hodge, Fr Nuno, Dana Kalnina-Zake, Fr Stavros, Anneke Kemper, Axel Liégeois, Fred Coutts, Naatan Haamer


The participants shared in a
Prayer Service for
healthcare professionals
in the Salem Baptist Church.  

The service was led by Fr Edward Lewis (England & Wales)


The Consultation ended with a reception, formal dinner and social event at which thanks were given, presentations made and greetings brought from the representatives of the Association of Professional Chaplains of the USA.

Jo Scharader, George Burn and Mary Whetstone of APC


Pre-Consultation Information


Rev Naatan Haamer (Organiser of the 10th Consultation) has now sent out the second letter of invitation

Tartu Academy of Theology
1A Ujula Street,
51008 Tartu

December 2007


I wish you a peaceful beginning of the new church year! The calendar year is ending as well and it is time to think about next year. We remind you that we are looking forward to welcoming you to Tartu in the last week of May 2008. With this letter we give you the latest information about our 10th Consultation. The Committe met in Leuven in Belgium at the beginning of October and decided that the most important questions we face at the current time are connected with Bioethics. We have decided that the theme of the Consultation in Tartu will be “From quality to sanctity of human life”. Together we will try to step closer towards understanding the sacredness of life and using this understanding in our everyday work. I am enclosing a copy of the programme.

In addition to the papers and discussions we will also offer you moments for prayer. There are opportunities for morning prayers and mass. In cooperation with the hotel we have found three special rooms for doing this – there are separate rooms for Roman Catholic, for Orthodox and for Protestant.

  Johannes Church

We will also have time to gather for ecumenical services in Tartu Johannes Church, which is unique in Europe with its sculptures made of terracotta (burnt clay). Both the interior and the exterior of the church are covered with numerous decorative details.

There will also be time for a walk in the old City of Tartu. We want to offer you the chance to see and experience fragments of the rich folklore and beautiful nature of Southern Estonia. Especially interesting are bog-landscapes which are quite rare in contemporary Europe.

As you already know from the previous letter, we will meet in Tartu from 28th May to 1st June 2008. Our meeting and living place will be the very new and comfortable Hotel Dorpat in the very centre of Tartu. The hotel is situated very close to the bus-station. Unfortunately there aren't yet international flights to Tartu's airport and because of that it will be necessary to use the flights to Tallinn or to Riga (in Latvia) and continue by bus from there. There is an excellent bus connection between Tallinn and Tartu, so we hope your journey to Tartu will be quite easy. You will find more exact information about travel to Tartu here.

The consultation in Tartu will be organised in cooperation with the Network Committee and the Tartu Academy of Theology (TAT), which is a member of the Network and the only educational institution in Estonia which has a pastoral care programme on the curriculum. The committee has decided the fee for the conference this year will be €400 Euros. The fee covers participation in consultation, accommodation, catering (food) and all other expenses in connection with our meeting.

The Network Committee will propose two changes to the constitution. We need to give at least 3 months notice of this. A short paper describing the changes is enclosed.

We hope that your church, chaplaincy organisation or association will be able to be present. Since this is a consultation and not an open conference the
Network Committee asks that no more than 2 representatives attend from each organisation.

We will put more information about the consultation as it becomes available on our website:

See You in Tartu!

In the name of the Tartu Academy of Theology
and the organizers of 10th Consultation.

Naatan Haamer

Download a copy of the registration Form


b>Organiser of the Consultation, Rev Naatan Haamer (Estonia) invites representatives to the consultation

Midsummer Greetings from Tartu!

Over a year has passed since our last meeting in Lisbon. I give my thanks to Fr  Nuno, who reminded us of those beautiful moments with his letter. Now has come the time to think about our next meeting. In Lisbon we agreed that the ENHCC 10th Consultation would take place in Tartu. Now I would like to say welcome to everyone to Estonia and Tartu from 28 May to 1 June 2008 for the ENHCC 10th Consultation

Tartu []with approximately 100,000 inhabitants is the second city by size in Estonia after the capital, Tallinn. Tartu is also a historical university city and has been, over the centuries, the centre of culture and research. Here is the opera-theatre “Vanemuine” – the oldest in Estonia. The University of Tartu was founded in 1632. The University of Tartu is the oldest and most venerable higher education institution in Estonia and one of the oldest and best-known universities in the entire north and east of Europe. [University of Tartu website]
But in Tartu are also other universities – the Academy of Agriculture, Higher Art school etc. One of them – Tartu Academy of Theology is the partner in organizing our conference.

We would like to welcome you to Tartu city centre's newest hotel, called “Dorpat” – one of the historical names of Tartu.
[Dorpat Hotel website] The hotel is located close to the city bus station. We want to make your arrival and stay as comfortable and pleasurable as possible.

We hope that the dates of our meeting will suit with your plans and we all can meet in Tartu for the ENHCC 10th Consultation

The ENHCC 10th Consultation is to use this
<e-mail address:

Postal address:
Tartu Academy of Theology
Ujula 1a
51008 Tartu

+3727420958 (Tartu Academy of Theology)
+3725525024 (Naatan Haamer)

Hope to hear from you soon!
Best regards.

<Naatan Haamer
ENHCC 10th Consultation Organiser

Naatan has taken some more pictures of Tartu
[Look at the pictures]