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Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church St.`Peter`s Church and Congregation of Kõpu CHURCH St. Peter's is a small and beautiful romantic countryside church built to proclaim the glory of God and serves people from near and far. Chronicle references from 1669 indicate the need for a place of worship at Kõpu and the first chapel was erected by 1674. In 1773, a new graveyard was consecrated and in 1780 a new wooden chapel was built. Construction on the current church was completed in 1825, together with a wooden turret. The year 1821 as the start of the construction work is carved into the Western wall of the church building. The church in Kõpu received its first organ in 1844, and the altar painting “Let the Children Come to Me” by a well-known painter Friedrich Ludwig von Maydell featuring a motif rather unique in Estonia dates back to same period. In 1867, a new organ with 8 stops was built by Guido Knauf – this organ is still in use today. Major inside renovations were undertaken in 1892. In 1906, the church building received a stone tower and external walls were supported by buttresses. The classicist altarpiece, brick floor and chandeliers are particularly well preserved. The tower takes pride in two bells, one built in 1793, the other in 1906. The interior walls of the church feature epitaphs for the landlords of Kõpu, the von Stryk family, and for parish clerks Peter Julius Auster and Märt Juhkam. In 1933 the Kõpu community erected a monument for the veterans of the War of Independence in the church park. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by the Soviets in 1941 but rebuilt in 1989. In 1940, parish assets were nationalized by the Soviets and the church building began to deteriorate. The local collective farm (kolkhoz) intended to use the building as a storehouse for potatoes. Times, however, changed: in 1983 electricity was installed in the church, the tin roof of the tower was replaced in 1984 and parts of the roof in 1985. The church was repainted both inside and outside in 1986. The colour scheme was designed by interior designer Eero Jürgenson. A new tile roof was put in place in 1999. In 2003, the church building and parts of property were returned to the parish. In 2004 the most valuable movables were returned. That same year the sacristy, displaying an altar painting “Transfiguration of Christ” by Elma Tomson-von Stryk, was renovated. Several extensive renovation projects were completed from 2005 to 2008 such as the installation of a security system, updating the power supply system, renovating of the organ, along with a new set of church textiles designed by an artist Reet Talimaa. From 2010 to 2014 the main design for the church park was completed, the church tower, attic and the heating system were renovated. In 2015 a kitchenette, an eco-toilet and an attic hall were finished. The doors of St. Peter's Church in Kõpu are open to everyone and we offer a wide variety of activities including regular Sunday worship services, confirmation classes, various church ceremonies, pastoral counselling, devotions, concerts, theme groups, school group meetings, day trips, small group activities, family events, seminars, workshops and exhibitions. PARISH Kõpu was noted in 1481 as belonging to the parishes of Saarde and Viljandi. An independent parish and congregation were established on November 09, 1911, joining the areas of Kõpu, Metsküla, Tohvri, and Puiatu with a total of 3,900 members. Since 1940, during the years of war and occupation the congregation  lost many  members  and all of its property. The Kõpu parish today has members all across the country, and of all generations. In 2020, there were ca 200 members. Most of the property has been returned to the parish or newly found. The parishioners are actively involved in the life of the church, community, and society. The congregation is an independent non-profit organization with donations and offerings forming the primary source of income. The main task of the parish is to proclaim the word of God and administer the sacraments. The centrepiece of our life together as a church is the Sunday worship service with Holy Communion. St. Peter's Church and parish at Kõpu provide a well-known, loved and safe place for the local community. The people have a positive personal relationship with the parish and are familiar with its activities. At the same time, St. Peter's belongs to the universal church: it prays, proclaims the Word of God, and administers the sacraments - preserving creation and serving the society. A congregation is like a family where God's presence and holiness prevail, cultural traditions are maintained, and personal faith and community synergies appreciated. (Development Plan 2020-2025) You are warmly welcome! “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.“ Ps 118:26

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Pikk 6, 71003 Viljandi  | viljandi@eelk.ee