The Church of Merimasku

Location on the map

Welcome to Merimasku church, which is the sixth oldest wooden church in Finland in constant use. The parish of Merimasku has about 1400 members (december 2010). Merimasku was originally a part of Masku, and from 1577 it belonged to the parish of Naantali, from which it was separated in 1904. Nowadays Merimasku is part of Naantali.
At this same location, near the sea, has been a modest church from 1648. When the old church was not even 80 years old, it was in so bad condition, that a new church needed to be built. This wooden cross church was built in 1726. The church is in constant use, and a service is held here every sunday.

The first permanent floor was built in 1803. The entrance halls were built in the 19th century.

The outer walls of the church are from 1833 and the roof from 1956. The roof was given a coating of tar in 1989 and 2000. The inner walls are from 1833, too, and they were painted in marble-like patterns
in 1850. In 1896 the church got it´s first organ.

Latest larger renovations were made in 1953-1954, and the inner walls got their marble painting again. Also a central heating was built, and
a new organ. Small repairs and maintenance are done all the time.

There is room for 225 people in the church. The two galleries of the church are the western organ loft and the northern gallery, which is still in it´s state from the 19th century.

The new organ was inaugurated in october 1997; it has 13 stops and 643 pipes. It was built by the finnish organ builder firm Veikko Virtanen. The organ case is made of finnish pinewood. The organ represents the finnish romantic organ building tradition of the end of the 19th century and is particularly well suited for congregational use.

The pulpit was made in 1658 by an unknown craftsman, probably in Turku. On it´s surface are carved St. Peter, The Saviour, St. John and Matthew, and two verses from Bible have been written on it.

To the right of the pulpit there is a picture describing the sufferings of the Christ. Several objects connected to his fate are described there.
The title of the picture reads: ”Remember Jesus Christ” (2.Tim.2:8).

The grandfather clock, from about 1820, is still in good working condition. It was built by a Merimasku citizen, Henrik Lindqvist, who wanted something more rewarding to do than his normal job as a tailor could offer him. So he started to make clocks.

The wooden statues beside the altar are from 1673. They represent God´s arms.

The altar is a simple, square-like construction. The wooden semi-circular fence is from the beginning of the 20th century.
The altar window has got it´s glass, of dutch origin, from Turku castle when the castle was repaired. There is a small crucifix above the altar.
It together with the wooden window frame replace the usual altar painting. The frame is unique in Finland, and it is from 1733. The pillars of the frame have got same names - Jachin and Boas - as king Solomon gave to the bronze pillars outside his temple.

There are three swords on the southern wall. Originally there were four, but one was stolen in 1994. The swords have belonged to officers who lived in Merimasku in the 19th century.

The ship hanging from the southern aisle was built by sailor Johan Talander. It was a thanksgiving for safe journeys on the sea, and also
a symbol of the christian church.

There are two commemoration writings for remarkable persons from the 1690´s on the southern wall, beside the door. It is not known, how usual writing such commemorations was, but these ones are very rare.

The painting on the northern wall, under the stairs of the gallery,
has got it´s subject from Christmas. It´s title is ”A child has born to us” (Jes.9:5). Above the painting there is also a crucifix.

The chandeliers are from 1756 (northern aisle), 1797 (middle), 1663 (south) and 1844 (crystal, east, nearest the altar). The small wall lamps are from the 19th century. The electric wall lamps are from 1954.

In the western entrance hall is a punishment log. It was used until 1848 as a shameful punishment of small misbehaviours and neglects.

A fire alarm system was installed in 1996.

The church yard, the cemetery, is surrounded by a red, wooden fence. A fence was normally built of stones, but here it is made of wood. The fence was completely renovated in 1995. The small entrance building to the church yard as well as the small grave chapel are from the 18th century. At the cemetery there is a memorial grave of 15 soldiers from Merimasku, who fell in the second world war. There is also a memorial for those deceased, who were left in Karelia.
The bell tower was built in 1769 and it had two bells.

A new cemetery beside the old one was inaugurated in 1994.

The parish of Merimasku. February  2011.

Naantalin seurakuntayhtymä