About this church
The Finnish Seamen’s Mission, Suomen Merimieskirkko ry, was established in 1875. It was at this time that there was a clear need to help Finns who were experiencing problems during their stay abroad, mostly seafarers and immigrants. The first person sent abroad by the Seamen’s Mission was the port chaplain Elis Bergroth, who was posted to the English ports of Grimsby and Hull in 1880. However, London’s position was the most demanding workwise, and Bergroth was soon transferred here in 1882. This was the start of the London operation, which continues to this day.
New stories are written every day. The Finnish church is an important meeting place for Finns living in the British Isles. People meet in Christian, cultural and social contexts at the church, or in activities organized by the church. The church works with people permanently living in the UK and Ireland, as well as among seamen, au pairs, students and tourists. Work takes place all over the British Isles.
The present church building dates from 1958, and is the third Finnish church in London. The architect of the Church, Cyrill Mardall-Sjöström, had already designed the new church building before the war broke out. The original design was to be built on a plot in Southwark Park, but this plan had to be dropped, and the new site here was found. The church was consecrated and opened in 1958. Large renovations were carried out in 2005 and the church was then reopened in 2006.
During the history of Finnish Church in London, countless people have visited or worked at the church, many people have left their mark on the church in London through their lifelong contributions.