Kirjuta meile Asukoht Kontakt Leader Eesti

Welcome to the Holy Cross!

We welcome you at our home-page! But we would be even more happy to meet you personally in our wonderful church and congregation.

Let us tell you, where we are and who we are.


The parish Risti lies in the westernmost part of the district Harjumaa, in North-Estonia. In the past it was known in Latin as Crux or in German as Kreuz. In English its name would be the Holy Cross. On contemporary geographical maps you can find it under the name Harju-Risti.

The territory of the parish starts at the ruins of Padise monastery and it reaches the beautiful forests of Vihterpalu and seashore at Keibu and Alliklepa. The territory of the parish is about 300 km² (116 sq mi) and its population is approximately 900. Many of the inhabitants have their job in Paldiski, Keila or even in Tallinn.

During the last decades the congregation was rather small, even in Estonian terms. Thus some few years ago the number of the faithful was about 90. But during the last years there has been a remarkable growth of the numbers. We are witnessing not only the growth of numbers but also the growth of real activity among all generations.

In 2015 the number of active members in the congregation was 298. According to the church law the “active members” are those who have donated to the congregation annually. To keep accounts of all the baptized members has been almost impossible due to several reasons, among which the period of atheistic Soviet regime is not negligible.

We work with the local children and with the youth and with the old age pensioners. We try to support those who are in need. We welcome people from everywhere to join us in our fellowship and love for God and neighbor.

In the church we have Holy Communion monthly on the 2nd and 4th Sunday and on major Christian feast starting at 1pm.

Pastor Annika Laats, Tel +372 55649256,

IBAN EE631010052037951005, SEB, SWIFT: EEUHEE2X.
The owner of the account: EELK Risti kogudus. Thank you a lot for your gracious help!


Risti church – dedicated to the sacred cross of Christ - was established between the 13th and 14th centuries by Cistercian monks of Padise monestary. The oldest part of the house of God is the choir room at the east end of the building.

In the 15th century, the church acquired a strict Western tower with a round floorplan. In the 17th century half of the top part of the tower collapsed, and was only partly restored.
Risti steeple has the oldest church bell in Estonia, which was cast in the first half of the 15th century. The second oldest bell (16th century) is useless due to a crack in its side, and is located in the church hall. The newest bell was cast in Westfal Germany in the winter of 2006.
The altar painting (ca 1870) is a copy of the altar painting of Tallinn Dome Church painted by Baltic German artist Eduard von Gebhardt. The pulpit is prepared by by Tobias Heintzel in 1630.
On the East wall of the nave there are signs of sculptures that used to stand there. These larger than life-size Calvary group sculptures were made in Rhineland in the 14th century. They depicted the crucified Christ, Saint Mary theVirgin, and John the Apostle. In 1959 these sculptures have been taken away from the congregation and are now in an exhibition in the Art Museum, St Nicholas Church, Tallinn. The congregation has not stopped hoping to get them back to our church again.

An organ, which is a masterpiece of the famous Gustav Normann, was a gift from Vihterpalu squire Gustav von Knorring (1852). Vihterpalu manor has helped the congregation today as well – squire Timo Lemberg has borne the costs of the release of the current leaflet.

The Gospel has been proclaimed in Risti church for over 700 years. Raising above time and distance, the church is a powerful monument of our ancestors’ religion. Christ is a rock, which was the basis of their lives. Our lives and souls need a holder as well. There may be various goals to aim for, however, our hearts are restless until they find peace in God.