Finnish Church in London is a religious, cultural and social meeting place for all the Finns who live in Great Britain and Ireland (either permanently or temporarily), as well as for their friends and family.
The Finnish Church in London is also open to all the friends of Finland.
Our church is here to help all those who find themselves in trouble – even when the trouble is the lack of Finnish black rye bread, or just the need to relax in a Finnish sauna! We are here for everyone.
The Finnish Seamen’s Mission ”co-operates with the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Finland, and observes its confessional Christian, social, cultural and diaconic work among seafarers and Finns living abroad, and carries out international Christian work at Finnish ports.”
Contact details for the Church Staff
Our Finnish Shop and Café on the terrace (with an awning)
are open from 14.4.21
A Warm Welcome!
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, therefore, 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.
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. The church is full of stories about people getting help, meeting long lost friends and experiencing the miraculous effects of sauna.
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.[/su_note]
The Finnish Church in London is located in Rotherhithe, southeast London. Church lies next to St. Olav’s Square –roundabout. The exact address is 33 Albion St, London SE16 7HZ.
Bus number 188 from Russell Square to North Greenwich station is the best option if you are coming from central London. Bus number 47 from Liverpool Street Station to Lewisham is also a good choice. Other options are buses 1, C10, P12, 199, 225 and 381. All of these buses stop at Canada Water station.
The closest tube stations to the Church are Canada Water and Bermondsey. Both are about half a mile from the church, and both are on the Jubilee line of the underground.
Rotherhithe Station is an overground station, and is about 300 yards from the Church.
There is some parking near the church but it is extremely limited. You can find some parking slots on Albion St, but you need to be careful. Cars on permit holders slots get clamped and towed away quite easily.
The objective of our social and welfare work is to enhance the well-being of the Finns living in Britain or Ireland. We also want to help those visiting the countries by offering them advice and service in their own language.
This work consists mainly of meetings and discussions at the church, and forming interest groups. The work also helps through visiting those in need at home, hospital and other places where care is needed.
Our social and welfare work is pro-active, and we put great emphasis on trying to prevent crisis situations arising – you can analyse and discuss problems in your life with the church workers. The preventive work consists largely of advice, guidance and information.
The contact person of our social work in London is Welfare Officer Hanna Lindholm.
We offer social support remotely from London to all the Finns living in Britain or Ireland. Welfare Officer can be contacted by email, phone or social media.
When it’s possible, Welfare Officer travels to as many location as possible to meet with Finnish communities and groups, for example Finnish Schools and independent Finnish groups. Welfare Officer also offers career counselling for students and adults.
During pandemic we offer virtual groups as a possibility to come together remotely, usually via Zoom.
The contact person of our social work outside London is Welfare Officer Salla Korteniemi.
The members of friendship network are Finns pledged to confidentiality, who have lived in the country for a considerable time.
- You can contact anyone in the friendship network when you want somebody to listen to you, or to have a discussion.
- They can also give you information of local services that are available and of activities among local Finns, etc.
- The activities of friendship network are conducted on a voluntary basis.
- The friendship network has over 100 members in different parts of the country.
- The members of the friendship network have a training session every year.
- Please be aware, though, that the members of the friendship network do NOT assist in getting accommodation or work, lend money, or give free help in their professional capacity.
- The friendship network is run by the Finnish Church in London and Finn-Guild (the Finnish organisation in Great Britain.)
- The Network has a Management Group consisting of social and therapy professionals.
Welfare Officer Hanna Lindholm is the person you should contact with regards to the Friendship Network. Through them you can get in touch with your nearest friendship network representative, and have information of their activities.
The staff members of the church are at your disposal whenever you wish to have confidential discussions. We offer support in joy and sorrow. Staff are bound by a pledge of secrecy and whatever you say is in complete confidence. You can contact us by phone and e-mail or you can just come to the Church. Pastoral care is fundamental part of Church’s work and therefore free of charge.
The pastoral meetings are based on confidential discussions between the church official and the person in question, and they can cover any aspect of life. They may also include a confession and absolution followed by a prayer and a blessing.
Ship visits are part of the life of the Finnish Church in London. Please contact Social Welfare Officer Salla Korteniemi if you would like to organise a visit to your ship.
Other Facilities at the Church
Our cafe is open from 14.4.21
Wed – Fri 14-20
We serve a daily selection of Finnish delicacies: Cinnamon buns, Karelian pies and berry pies – and we welcome you to enjoy your favourites!
You may also buy from our cafeteria for take away.
In addition, during the weekends (and by order), you can enjoy tasty Finnish home cooking.
The cafeteria offers various services:
- Finnish newspapers and magazines
- Free Wi-Fi connection
- The church library has books in Finnish, and in foreign language translations to be taken home. These include books for children and young people!
The Finnish Shop – Suomi-shop
In our Finnish Shop you will find the largest selection of Finnish food and delicacies in London.
These include an assortment of Finnish sweets, chocolate, mustard, rye bread, baking ingredients, porridge flakes and coffee. We also sell other Finnish favourites and gift items.
Finnish Shop is open from 14.4.21