Mikael Agricola church
The church, named after Bishop Mikael Agricola, who created the basis for the literary Finnish language, rises above the roofs of Punavuori and Eira. The Mikael Agricola church is one of the most actively used churches in our country. It is known as the home of the Tuomas mass and the experimental parish work of the Agricola movement. In the same premises with the church operates a lunch cafeteria Cafe Agricola that offers a versatile programme.
Good to know
The church contest of Helsinki Tehtaanpuisto in 1930 aroused an architectural debate. Altogether 56 proposals were entered into the contest, but the award committee, which was unhappy about the popularity of functionalism, used zoning issues as a formal excuse to announce a new contest in 1932. A requirement was added to the conditions of the contest that the contestants had to "follow traditional church forms". The award committee was strengthened with an additional member, Bertel Jung, who had a critical attitude towards functionalism.
The new contest was won by Lars Sonck, who had been a member of the award committee in the first contest. Sonck had already designed the Kallio church, the Tampere Cathedral and Michael's church in Turku. The church named after Mikael Agricola was built by Tehtaankatu, in the park between Sepänkatu and Tehtaankatu. Contrary to the specific condition of the second contest, the church represents simplified functionalism.
The church, designed by Lars Sonck, was dedicated in spring 1935. The church tower, rising to the height of 103 metres, visible from far out to sea, became the landmark of southern Helsinki during the war, and proved to be a risk. The 30-metre spike-like upper part extending the church tower was lowered inside the tower to prevent enemy pilots from using it as a navigation point.
Sonck did not finish the design of the choir part of the church. The chandeliers were designed by architect, Arvo Muroma. The altar sculpture, Jeesuksen hautaaminen (Burial of Jesus) is by artist, Bruno Tuukkanen, from 1935. Tuukkanen also created the paintings describing the life of Jesus on the arches of the aisles of the church. The votive ship hanging from the ceiling of the church is a model of the Finnish ship, Fortuna, which sailed in the early 1800s.
The mass cassock and stole designed by Päikki Priha and made by Ateljé Solemnis are kept in the church. The tapestry in the ceremonial chapel depicting Jesus riding to Jerusalem was designed by Greta Skogster-Lehtinen in 1935. Dora Jung wove the linen damask cloth for the church at about the same time. The original church textile for the altar was woven out of artificial silk and had embroidered lily motifs and a Christ monogram. The motif of the pulpit cloth is a lamb. The influence of art deco can be seen in the classic communion set by Gunilla Jung from 1935.
The current organ, which dates back to 1968, is by the organ builder, Veikko Virtanen. It has 40 stops. The church also has a piano. There are three church bells in the tower.
The aim of the renovation of the church in 2003 and 2004 was to restore the church to as close to the original appearance as possible. The church space was given a lighter colouring and the benches were reupholstered. The altarpiece, lamps, murals and windows were restored.
The Mikael Agricola church has been a forerunner in many religious reforms. For example, the Tuomasmessu (Thomas Mass for Doubters), unusual in the amount of participation involved from the congregation in planning, organising and taking part in the actual ceremonies, has been organised on its premises since 1988.
As of the beginning of 1999, the Mikael Agricola church has belonged to the Cathedral parish.
Celebrations at the church
Members of the church can organise a baptism, a wedding or a funeral free of charge in the church.
The church hall 850. Suitable for festive occasions, the crypt seats 200 at tables.
Welcome to the church!