The Parish of Lammi
”IN LAMMI THE CHURCH IS AT THE HEART OF THE TOWN AND NEAR PEOPLE”
The parish of Lammi is part of Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Its membership count was 4800 in 2010. The current vicar is Heli Ulvinen.
The parish of Lammi has different kind of premises in addition to old Middle Age stone church: cemetery chapel, church community center, which is situated next to the church registry office and employees’ offices, rectory building (play group premises are there), and summer camp Kaunisniemi, where confirmation schools are usually held. The summer camp premises and the kitchen of church community center are rented for entrepreneurs whose services the parish uses regularly.
The parish of Lammi consists of 13 employees: 4 priests, one of them is in a special post, 2 cantors, deacon, youth work instructor, 3 children’s instructors, sexton/caretaker and secretary.
Employees and shop stewards together make long-term plans, decisions and guidelines (known as TTS-working). The current action strategy will be valid until the end of 2015, and the key motto is “In Lammi the church is at the heart of the town and near people”. During the recent years one of our key words has been a co-operation. The parish of Lammi has taken an active role in the local community and has created a tight network. We understand that it is very difficult to achieve anything alone, but by working together it is easier to get the better and more powerful end results.
We also take an effort to support our friends abroad. The parish of Lammi has a close relationship with the parish of Rannu (Estonia). Our long-term plan has been in supporting their church renovation – especially the church bell -project. The relationship with them began early in the 1990s, and we hold annual meetings together. The parish of Lammi also supports actively missionary work.
The work environment and wellbeing at work are important matters to the parish of Lammi. We believe that the healthy work community can achieve more. Our aim is to keep up the we-spirit and be inspired by others. The big “thank you” goes to the parish members, who have taken an active role in many tasks. Their help and devotion cannot be counted in money. Recent times need for voluntary work has increased: deacon work, missionary work and friendship service. If you want to take part in voluntary work, contact us! Your help is welcome and needed!
The parish of Lammi joined the parish union of Hämeenlinna 1.1.2009 . Other member parishes are Hauho, Hämeenlinna-Vanaja, Kalvola and Tuulos. One big reason behind the decision to join was the fact that the county of Lammi became part of Hämeenlinna 2009.
All the member parishes are functionally independent. The parish union manages property and cemetery matters, finance and some other things.
The joint council uses supreme decision making power in parish union, and joint board which is elected by parish union. 51 members belong to the joint council of parish union. The parish of Lammi has 5 joint council members and those members are chosen by election held every four years.
The board has supreme decision making power in local parishes. The members are chosen by parish election. There are 12 members and a chairman who belongs to the board of Lammi. The vicar acts as a chairman.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: THE CHURCH OF LAMMI
Christianity has found its way to Lammi probably in the 11th century. This date is based on archaeological discovery, which was made in old cemetery known as Honkaliini. The parish of Lammi has been mentioned first time in the 1420s. It is known that Lammi has been rural municipality already in the 1374. These dates are based on research made by Väinö Voionmaa. Very likely the church district and the rural municipality are all most the same age.
Since the 1600th century the parish of Lammi has been part of canon municipal of Tampere. During the centuries Lammi has also been part of different canon municipals: Turku, Viipuri, Porvoo, and Tampere (1923). The rectory of Lammi, Iso-Pappila, has always located at same place (nowadays there operates Lammi Biological Station). The rectory may have existed already in the 14th century. The existing stone church is most likely the third one in a row; other churches have been most probably humble wood churches. Their exact locations are unknown.
The parish of Lammi owned many forest and field areas in the first decades of last century. There were many factors involved, when and why the parish of Lammi had to give away part of their land assets. For example, one reason was the winter war (1939-1940).
Citizens of Lammi are proud of their medieval stone church, which is located in hearth of the town. Many, very popular concerts are held regularly at the church of Lammi. Lammi used to have another church, the church of Mommila, but in the year 2010 the parish of Hausjärvi got it due to the changes in territorial policy.
The parish church of Lammi, built of granite and dedicated to St. Catherine (d. 307), dates from the late Middle Ages. According to Bishob Colliander, the church was built in 1444, in the era of Magnus II Tawast, Bishop of Turku. Most probably the church was built in 1490 – 1510.
The architecture of the church – like that of many other churches of the period – has clearly been influenced both by Romanesque and by the Gothic style. The woodwork of the church and the clock tower outside were destroyed by fire in 1918, during the civil war. The architect Usko Nyström redesigned the interior of the church in the spirit of the Neo-Gothic Style in close co-operation with the Archaelogic Society (Muinaistieteellinen toimikunta).
The destruction of the church
The altarpiece (triptych) is rare specimen of modern wood-carving. (1920) The wood-carvings of the altarpiece, as well as the crucifix, were made by Johan Friedl, who was a teacher at Ateneum – the College of Art in Helsinki. He was originally Austrian. The parish church of Lammi got electricity under the Christmas time in 1921.
Christmas church 1921 and electric lights
The parish church of Lammi has been renovated thoroughly in 2001 – 2002, and the main architect was Virpi Tervonen. New church textiles were designed and made during the renovation. The church of Mommila was renovated in the 1990s and the exterior painting was fixed in the summer of 2006.