The Guild of the Cross is a student association in the first list of the AYY's association register. The official rules (in Finnish) of the association, define the purpose of the guild as follows:
The purpose of the guild is to deepen the spiritual lives of its partakers, to sustain activities arising from Christian duty, to uphold Biblical values, and to advance the work for spreading the Gospel.
The guild practices its activities amongs Aaltonians, other students living in Otaniemi, and their family members.
The Guild of the Cross is an ecumenical Christian organisation, to the events of others than Aalto students are also welcome. The guild members are united by the faith in Christ — our Saviour.
The guild activities are prescribed in more detail in the guild's statute book, ratified by the board (in Finnish),.
The Guild of the Cross was founded in 1947, as a continuation of a bible-study group that had been active at the Helsinki Technical University (a predecessor of Aalto) before the World War II. Only one of the eight people in the bible-study group survived the war, and he worked actively for the establishment of the guild.
Some of the notable achievements of the guild include the construction of the Otaniemi Chapel and the building of the Finland's first minigolf track from 1952 until its closure in 2017. However, the most important has nevertheless been the provision of a spiritual growth platform and a Christian community though out the decades to teekkaris, the inhabitants of the Teekkari Village, and to others interested.
Versatile activity, bible-study groups, missionary work, interdenominationality, youthfulness and teekkari-spirit are words that have been and can still be attached to the Guild of the Cross. With over 60 years of history, the guild is still an active organisation, whose values do not become outdated.
The Otaniemi Chapel is a beautiful building in the middle of the Teekkari Village. The chapel is situated in a calm environment, surrounded by forest, providing a serene view from the chapel's large window that functions as the altar painting.
The Chapel may be used for baptism- and wedding ceremonies. The Guild of the Cross hosts many kinds of events at the Chapel for students in Otaniemi.
The Chapel includes also a small room in which the guild maintains its own small library of spiritual literature. The books are classified by the standard book classification scheme. The library functions in a self-service fassion, and the instructions for borrowing the books can be found in the library.
For more information and guidance, you may contact the library manager via kirjastonhoitaja at ristinkilta.fi.
The architectural competition for the chapel was organised in 1952-1953. In the end, the competition work "altar" by the architects Heikki and Kaija Siren was chosen as the basis for the chapel construction, even though their work lost to a work representing a more traditional style.
The construction work started in the summer of 1956 and was completed by Christmas of the same year. The construction was funded partially by the student-raised funds, partially through donations and loans. The chapel was ordained for use on 12th of May 1957.
Early in the morning of 22.6.1976, the chapel burned as a consequence of arson.
The chapel was rebuilt again, closely resembling the original building. The new chapel was finished by 4th of November 1978. The changes were minor: a new room for a priest was added and a separate building for sexton was constructed.
The chapel's textiles were designed by Hilkka Vuorinen and they were produced by the Suomalaisen käsityön ystävät ry.
The surface are of the chapel is 354 square meters. The main hall has 140 seats, and 70 more seats can be added by opening the sliding wall between the nave and the coffee lounge.
(09) 468 3270.
Official information (in Finnish):
- Statute book
- Action plan
Images: Jari-Pekka Juhala